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In The Beginning…

December 24, 2016 Leave a comment



In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
He was in the beginning with God.
All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.
In him was life, and the life was the light of men.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him.
He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.
He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.
He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.
But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,
who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
(John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.'”)
And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.



For to Us a Child Is Born
But there will be no gloom for her who was in anguish. In the former time he brought into contempt the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the latter time he has made glorious the way of the sea, the land beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the nations.
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shined.
You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as they are glad when they divide the spoil.
For the yoke of his burden, and the staff for his shoulder, the rod of his oppressor, you have broken as on the day of Midian.
For every boot of the tramping warrior in battle tumult and every garment rolled in blood will be burned as fuel for the fire.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this.



The Visit of the Wise Men
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem,
saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him;
and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.
They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
“‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who will shepherd my people Israel.'”
Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared.
And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.”
After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was.
When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy.
And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.



John 1:1-16, Isaiah 9:1-7, Matthew 2:1-12 (ESV)

The Dying Thief: From Reformation21


Powerful post from Mark Jones in Reformation21 on the faith of The Thief on the Cross.
Do yourself and read the entire piece, but here are some tasty excerpts:


“… In this conversion we have a specific fulfillment of Christ’s first words on the cross. No sooner had Christ spoken the words, “Father, forgive them,” had the Father answered that prayer by turning a once-reviling criminal into a Christ-glorifying saint. While the soon-to-be converted criminal was not directly responsible for Christ’s death, he nevertheless joined with those who were and was thus indirectly addressed when Christ asked for God to forgive “them.”


Christ, the sinless one, was numbered with or counted among the transgressors (Isa. 53:12; Luke 22:37), all of whom have a bigger problem than the day-to-day sins they commit. They hate Christ, the God-man. Anyone who has a master other than the Lord Jesus hates him (Lk. 16:13; Gal. 4:8). That these two criminals loathed him is clearly manifested during the crucifixion: “And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way” (Matt. 27:44).
When the criminal who was converted was doing his worst against Christ, Christ was doing his best for this criminal.


This criminal’s faith did not come at a time such as when Christ turned water into wine; or performed miracles, such as walking on water, opening the eyes of a blind man, or raising Lazarus from the dead. No! The criminal believed on the Messiah while he was hanging as one cursed upon a tree. The criminal trusted in and boldly defended the one whose disciples had abandoned him. Jesus was at his lowest when this criminal asked to be remembered in Christ’s kingdom.
When he was on the cross, did anyone publicly cry out, as John the Baptist did, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!” (Jn. 1:29)? But this is essentially what the dying thief did. Little wonder, then, that Christ should promise him a place in his kingdom: “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise” (Lk. 23:43).
The criminal acknowledged he was guilty; he acknowledged that Christ was not (“this man has done nothing wrong”); he feared God; but, and here is the key: the criminal did not merely want to be in a better place. He wanted to be with Christ in a better place: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom” (Lk. 23:42). The criminal believed “against all hope”.
Heaven is a better place because that is where Christ is. Everyone wants to go to heaven, but not everyone wants to go to Christ’s heaven. Not so with this criminal: he saw, with his eyes, Christ at his worst; but with the eyes of faith, he believed that Christ would soon be at his best, and so put his faith in a dying king.
Christ is always – always! – willing to save even the most miserable of sinners. A recognition of guilt (Lk. 23:40) and a confidence in him and not ourselves (Lk. 23:42) will always lead to the most assuring truth a sinner can receive: the Savior welcomes such into his paradise! ”


Excellent words. A dear friend, after reading this, replied as such:
“Loved this.

Yes!! It’s not the streets of gold, or the pearly gates, or even the promise of eternal, painless–blissful!–life. It’s being with Jesus Christ. Which of us, who loves his/her child, given the choice of going to live in a slum with that child, or going alone to live in a mansion on the French Riviera along with a limitless expense account while the child is sent alone to the slum, would choose the latter? And if we love our children more than we love Christ, we are not worthy of Him.


And how bad could a slum be if Jesus was right there by our side?”
Read the whole piece: http://www.reformation21.org/blog/2015/04/the-dying-thief-what-was-so-gr.php

The Fullness of Time

December 25, 2014 1 comment



But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. (Galatians 4:4-5 ESV)



Merry Christmas

The Messiah

October 7, 2014 Leave a comment



From Blake White’s Blog (http://ablakew.blogspot.com/), a new video from a group running The Bible Project (http://www.youtube.com/user/jointhebibleproject). Besides their YouTube Channel, they also have a Website: http://www.jointhebibleproject.com/
Well worth watching.



http://ablakew.blogspot.com/2014/10/the-messiah.html

Matt Chandler’s The Initiating Love of God

September 20, 2013 Leave a comment



Matt Chandler, who had the Easter in 2:12 , video featured earlier, has this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OIa0cwCQnas


Worthwhile, and inspiring.

That He Was Raised the Third Day, According to the Scriptures


1 Corinthians 15:
1 Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand,
2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold fast to the word I preached to you–unless you believed in vain.
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,
4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures…
13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.
14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.
15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised.
16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised.
17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.
18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished.
19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.
20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.
21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.
22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.
23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.
24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.
25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.
26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.
50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.
51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,
52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.
53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.
54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: "Death is swallowed up in victory."
55 "O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?"
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.
57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Please Pray for This Weekend’s Bible Bee.

August 25, 2011 Leave a comment

Please be in prayer for the Bible Bee http://www.biblebee.org, which is taking place this Saturday at 128 locations across the country. There will be more than 5000 children working on Bible knowledge and memory. These kids have spent their summer in study for this day.

We pray that the participants (and their parents and the spectators and those supporting those efforts) will be blessed. I know that our Youth have been working diligently this summer. No matter how they do on Saturday, I’m exceedingly proud of them.

As for me, once again I’ll be toiling away in the Nerdery at our local Bee. Oh, the Bible Bee will call it Command Central, or the Operations Center, or whatever name they come up with. It’ll always be the Nerdery to me.

May I suggest that your family be similarly blessed by partipating in next year’s Bible Bee.