VIDEO God Loves You!

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16

The Gideons International is best known for their Gideons Bibles. Since 1908, Gideons have placed Bibles in hotel and motel rooms for guests to read. On the inside cover, printed in a multitude of languages, is the text of John 3:16. When travelers from around the world open a Gideons Bible in their hotel room, they will find the verse, in a familiar language, that says God loves them.

John 3:16 is perhaps the best-known and most-loved verse of Scripture—the most concise rendering of the Gospel message in one verse. Entire sermons can be preached on the truths contained in this one verse. But for individual readers here is the message: God loves you. If you are in “the world,” God loves you. And He proved His love by sending His only Son, Jesus Christ, to pay for your sins and promise you eternal life (1 John 4:9-10).

Are you in the world today? If so, God loves you. Respond to His love by believing in His Son.

Since God had a Son of his own, and such a Son—how wonderful God’s love in adopting us!  Thomas Watson

The Chosen scene: John 3:16

A Small Start

Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small . . . , out of you will come . . . [a] ruler over Israel. Micah 5:2

The Brooklyn Bridge was considered “the eighth wonder of the world” upon its completion in 1883. But a single, slender wire strung from one bridge tower to the other was essential for the structure to come to fruition. Additional wires were added to the first until a massive cable, along with three others, was woven together. When finished, each cable—composed of more than five thousand galvanized wires—helped support the longest suspension bridge in its day. What started as something small turned into a huge part of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Jesus’ life began in a small way—a baby born and placed in a feeding trough in a tiny town (Luke 2:7). The prophet Micah prophesied His humble birth, writing, “Bethlehem Ephrathah, though you are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come for me one who will be ruler over Israel” (Micah 5:2; see also Matthew 2:6). A small start, but this ruler and shepherd would see His fame and mission “reach to the ends of the earth” (Micah 5:4).

Jesus was born in a small place in humility, and His life on earth ended as “he humbled himself” and died a criminal’s death on a “cross” (Philippians 2:8 nlt). But by His immense sacrifice He bridged the gap between us and God—providing salvation for all who believe. This season, may you receive God’s great gift in Jesus by faith. And if you do believe, may you humbly praise Him anew for all He’s done for you.

By:  Tom Felten

Reflect & Pray

What small or big thing is God doing in your heart? How will you humbly respond to Him?

Jesus, thank You for humbly coming to save me by Your great sacrifice.

Learn more about the life of Christ.

The Path of Life

Life is uncertain, but if we listen to the Lord, He’ll guide us and give us His strength for the road ahead Psalm 25:1-22

The future is an untraveled trail with complex twists and turns. Appealing activities can be detours that lead away from the Lord, and engaging philosophies are paths that often end in a mire of muddled thinking. Even the best route isn’t all sun-dappled meadows and quiet riverside lanes. At times we’ll journey over rugged terrain or through dark valleys. The only way to be sure we’re walking on the right path is to follow one who knows the way. 

God is your perfect Guide for life, who lovingly and intentionally created you for this time and place. He watches over your steps and teaches you His paths as revealed in His Word. What’s more, He is the Comforter, who promises to walk by your side so you never face life’s challenges alone.

The Lord knows the path before you, and if you’ll humble yourself and reverence Him, He will give instructions about the way you should choose. Because He sees every discouraging obstacle and entrapping temptation, He wants to guard your steps so you won’t stumble off course. Decide to trust Him and pursue His will rather than what might feel good or look right. Then you’ll be on your way to the destination of blessing. 

Seeking Worshipers

“But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.” (John 4:23)

Here is an amazing revelation—that the omnipotent God of creation should actually be seeking those among His creatures who would freely come to love and worship Him! How could He possibly have to seek anything?

Yet, Jesus said He does! In some inscrutable way, it satisfies the infinite heart of God when we respond to His sacrificial love in gratitude and worship.

We see this also in the experience of the 10 lepers. All 10 had been cleansed of their leprosy, but only one, a Samaritan, returned to give thanks to Jesus. Note the wistfulness in Jesus’ reply to the cleansed leper: “Were there not ten cleansed?” He asked, “But where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger” (Luke 17:17-18). The Lord indeed takes note both of the few who truly appreciate Him and also of the many who take His blessings for granted.

In the house of Simon the Pharisee, for example, the Lord Jesus took special note of the woman who washed His feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair, anointing them with the precious ointment in her alabaster box. But He also noted that self-righteous, critical Simon had provided no such services at all. Then He said, “Wherefore I say unto thee, Her sins, which are many, are forgiven; for she loved much: but to whom little is forgiven, the same loveth little” (Luke 7:47).

Whether or not we fully understand, the Lord does seek those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. Therefore, “seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33). HMM

Why the Genealogies?

Matthew 1:16

THE long lists of our Lord’s ancestry given in Matthew 1:1-17 and Luke 3:23-38 have puzzled the devout not a little. They are not identical, and the ordinary reader wades through the formidable genealogical lists perhaps to no great edification.

But there is a definite purpose and value to every portion of the God-breathed Scriptures. Matthew, writing to Jews, traces our Lord on His human side back to Abraham. Luke, writing to Gentiles, goes back to Adam. Matthew traces the line through David to our Lord’s legal father, Joseph. Notice the changed expression in 1:16: “Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ.” Matthew, representing Christ the King, gives His kingly descent.

Much difficulty attends the fact that Jacob is given as Josephs father in Matthew while Luke says “Joseph which was of Heli” (3:23). It is believed that in Luke we have the ancestry of Mary whose father was Heli, therefore Joseph as son-in-law is called “son.”

Whatever the explanation of that, the lists afford us spiritual meat. Our Lord is the heir by descent to the throne of David, which throne He will yet occupy when He reigns on earth over a redeemed Israel.

All classes occur in this line, good and bad, rich and poor. Our Lord is the representative of collective humanity. All of us may find our types in this line of descent. He was identified in His ancestry with all sorts. Three women who were guilty of gross sins are found here: Rahab, Tamar and Bathsheba. On our side, the Lord Jesus inherited all the common tendencies of humanity so that He might be tempted in all points like as we. Yet He was without sin.

On the human side He comes through all this checkered ancestry truly representative of the race, Jew and Gentile blood in His veins. On the divine side He comes from God, the express image of God, the Word, Emmanuel. These are joined in the supreme miracle of all time, Jesus Christ the God-man. So, legally through Joseph and actually through Mary, our Lord is linked with David and Abraham in the Gospel to the Jews and with Adam in the Gospel to the Gentiles. And both writers are careful to declare His virgin birth. Matthew with his “Joseph the husband of Mary, of whom was born Jesus, who is called Christ” and Luke with “Jesus… being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph.”

Familiarity with the story has dulled us to the wonder and mystery of this marvel of all time, God becoming man. How carefully the stage is set: the Roman, Jewish and Greek worlds converging on this focal point, each with its own contribution! And God maintained through the centuries the line of descent until in the fullness of time He would send forth His Son born of a woman. No page of His record is dull when seen in the light of His wonderful purpose!

“Create in me a clean heart.”

Genesis 1:6-13

The expanse of the atmosphere separates the vapours above from the waters below. Luther used to wonder at the arch of heaven, which stands unsupported by pillars. He saw in it a lesson for his faith, teaching him that the Lord could uphold him by unseen power. He who creates with a word can sustain in the same manner.

Genesis 1:7

What the Lord in the former verse commanded he in this verse creates: in the same manner one Scripture bids us believe, and another tells us that faith is the work of God.

Genesis 1:8-9

Note the frequent repetition of those little words, “and it was so.” We may gather from them that none of God’s words of promise or threatening will fall to the ground.

Genesis 1:10

God’s care in naming “day” and “night,” and “earth,” and “sea,” should teach us to call things by their right names; let us never call sin pleasure, or the Lord’s service a weariness.

Genesis 1:11-12

When God has put light into a soul, and divided its sin from its new life, he next looks for fruit, and ere long it is brought forth to his glory.

Genesis 1:13

So far, we have considered the second and third day’s work of creation: it may be well for us now to be reminded that our Lord Jesus was there, and “without him was not anything made that was made.”

Proverbs 8:22-36

Proverbs 8:22-36

May we hearken to him who is “made of God unto us wisdom” and find life and favour in him.

I sing th’ almighty power of God

That made the mountains rise;

That spread the flowing seas abroad,

And built the lofty skies.

There’s not a plant or flower below,

But makes his glories known;

And clouds arise, and tempests blow,

By order from his throne.

Jesus Christ Is All That the Godhead Is

But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption. 1 Corinthians 1:30

I advise you not to listen to those who spend their time demeaning the person of Christ.

I advise you to look beyond the cloudiness of modern terms used by those who themselves are not sure who Jesus Christ was in reality.

You cannot trust the man who can only say, “I believe that God revealed Himself through Christ.” Find out what he really believes about the person of the incarnate Son of God!

You cannot trust the man who will only say that Christ reflected more of God than other men do. Neither can you trust those who teach that Jesus Christ was the supreme religious genius, having the ability to catch and reflect more of God than any other man.

All of these approaches are insults to the Person of Jesus Christ. He was and is and can never cease to be God, and when we find Him and know Him, we are back at the ancient fountain again.

Christ is all that the Godhead is!

This is the wonder, the great miracle—that by one swift, decisive, considered act of faith and prayer, our souls go back to the ancient fountain of our being, and we start over again!

It is in Jesus Christ Himself that we find our source, our satisfaction. I think this is what John Newton perceived in the miracle of the new birth, causing him to sing, “Now rest my long-divided heart, fixed on this blissful center—rest!”