Glory To God In The Highest??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #391

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Bible Ballistics: BBs  #391   Glory To God In The Highest???

 

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Luke 2:14

I know it’s just September, but any time is the time to praise God for the gift of HIS Son Jesus, who came that we might have salvation and abundant life; but “peace on earth”? And what about “good will toward men”? What about the “glory”? We see strife, hatred and conflict on every hand, and unequalled disasters going on all about us. Where’s the “peace”? Where’s the “glory”? Where’s the “good will”?

Well, the answer is simple—it is all found IN Jesus! He is the “glory” of God; He is the “peace” of God; He is the “good will” of God toward a lost and sinful people! He is all of this and more; it is why Jesus came, to purchase eternal life for man at Calvary, to offer the ‘new birth’ to all who will believe! Let’s peruse just a few of the scriptures that remind us of HIS glory, grace and love toward us, so you can rejoice with me today!!!

God, who at sundry times

and in divers manners

spake in time past

unto the fathers

by the prophets,

2 Hath in these last days

spoken unto us

by his Son,

whom he hath appointed heir

of all things,

by whom also he made the worlds;

3 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things

by the word of his power,

when he had by himself purged our sins,

sat down

on the right hand

of the Majesty on high;”    Hebrews 1:1-3

This very Son of God, came and took on flesh to pay the penalty for sin, for all who will come to Him in repentance and faith—trusting to His finished work on the cross to not only pay our ‘sin debt’, but also to impart to us the new birth, new life IN Him! Jesus came that we might “….have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” (See John 10:10) This one, who IS God, came to die for you and me. Even the prophet Daniel foretold of His position and glory, this ‘Son of Man’ and ‘Son of God’ who was promised by God The Father.

I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”   Daniel 7:13-14

He has the glory, and He shares His ‘glory’, His ‘peace’ and His ‘good will’ as ‘God with us’—with all who will believe and receive Him and His sacrificial, atoning death for sin.

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you

through the knowledge of God,

and of Jesus our Lord,

3 According as his divine power hath given

unto us

all things

that pertain unto life

and godliness,

through the knowledge of him

that hath called us to glory

and virtue:

4 Whereby are given

unto us

exceeding great

and precious promises:

that by these

ye might be partakers

of the divine nature,

having escaped the corruption

that is in the world

through lust.”     2 Peter 1:2-4

Amen and Amen! What glorious gifts of grace and love The Father has bestowed upon us through The Son. But there’s even more—He gives us peace. Not only the peace ‘of’ God, but peace ‘with’ God, the restoration of relationship and fellowship of fallen mankind with The Holy God Almighty of the universe!

Therefore being justified by faith,

we have peace with God

through our Lord Jesus Christ:

2 By whom also we have access

by faith

into this grace

wherein we stand,

and rejoice in hope

of the glory of God…

…5 And hope maketh not ashamed;

because the love of God

is shed abroad

in our hearts

by the Holy Ghost

which is given unto us.

6 For when we were yet without strength,

in due time

Christ died

for the ungodly.

7 For scarcely for a righteous man

will one die:

yet peradventure for a good man

some would even dare to die.

8 But God

commendeth his love

toward us,

in that,

while we were yet sinners,

Christ died for us.”    Romans 5:1-2, 5-8

Oh what a glory! Oh what joy we ought to have in our hearts and on our faces—Jesus has given us new life, the ‘hope of glory’, He has given us ‘peace with God and He has given us the ‘good will’ of God Almighty in His love:

toward us,

in that,

while we were yet sinners,

Christ died for us.

So friends, I rejoice again today and will repeat it endlessly, regardless of the season!!!

Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace,

good will toward men.

Amen and Amen. Won’t you rejoice with me today?

Unexpected Interruptions??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #390

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Bible Ballistics: BBs  #390   Unexpected Interruptions???

 

We all have “un”expected interruptions, as an old Yiddish proverb says “Man plans, God laughs!” and that’s a pretty accurate observation. We are so busy making “plans” that we often forget to ‘live’ our lives, particularly to ‘live’ them for God, seeking His will and desire for our every step.

The prophet Jeremiah called his people to repent and turn to God for some 40 years, with very little response. He called them to return to their God and avoid God’s judgment of the coming Babylonian captivity, but to no avail—they just kept right on doing their own thing; making their own ‘plans’ with no regard for the God they claimed as their own! As I’m often wont to say, “Saying so, doesn’t make it so!” We must examine our plans, and seek to pursue the ways, plans and will of God—for He knows what lies ahead. As another prophet penned (Daniel after the fall of Jerusalem, in Babylonian captivity, as a servant of Nebuchadnezzar the king) in Daniel 2:20-22:

Daniel answered and said,

Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever:

for wisdom and might are his:

21 And he changeth the times

and the seasons:

he removeth kings,

and setteth up kings:

he giveth wisdom

unto the wise,

and knowledge

to them that know understanding:

22 He revealeth

the deep and secret things:

he knoweth what is in the darkness,

and the light dwelleth with him.

Daniel was praising God for answered prayer, and in his praise he rehearses the character of God for us. Jeremiah warned the people of the coming judgment, but also the mercy that God wanted to bestow upon them. Yet even in His judgment of sin and the discipline of His own people, God’s desire is for our good and His glory. Exactly what Jeremiah reminded the people of as He preached of the perfect goodness of God to all who would come to HIM!

For I know the thoughts

that I think toward you,

saith the LORD,

thoughts of peace,

and not of evil,

to give you an expected end.

12 Then shall ye call upon me,

and ye shall go

and pray unto me,

and I will hearken

unto you.

13 And ye shall seek me,

and find me,

when ye shall search

for me

with all your heart.”    Jeremiah 29:11-13

So often this passage is taken out of context, and while God does have good things for us, it’s not always what we would pick! God is interested in our ‘holiness’ not our ‘happiness’: happiness is always connected to circumstances, holiness is spiritual in nature and reveals the desire of God to mature us, and bring us into an intimate relationship with Him. And when we learn to recognize the hand of God in all things, we will gain a confidence and maturity that can sustain us through any trial or detour! God calls us to “seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart”, but we are often too distracted with our own plans to “seek” Him! But following God’s way is always the best and always the most rewarding, although it will almost always be the way of the ‘greatest’ resistance—the world won’t like the one who faithfully stands with and for God!

Let the wicked forsake his way,

and the unrighteous man his thoughts:

and let him return unto the LORD,

and he will have mercy upon him;

and to our God,

for he will abundantly pardon.

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways my ways,

saith the LORD.

9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher than your ways,

and my thoughts than your thoughts.”    Isaiah 59:7-9

Oh to understand the things that God wants to teach us! Oh to learn to follow Him expecting the unexpected; to go where He leads regardless of the interruption; to declare with the Psalmist that our steps are ‘ordered’ by The Lord—expected or not!

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. 24 Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.” Psalm 37:23-24

And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.”   Isaiah 30:21

Wherever you are walking today, remember that if things turn around, seek God and look for His Hand, He is at work for our good and His glory!!! Things aren’t always what you think they are. God is working that which will produce “a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory”!

For all things are for your sakes,

that the abundant grace

might through the thanksgiving

of many

redound to the glory of God.

16 For which cause we faint not;

but though our outward man perish,

yet the inward man

is renewed day by day.

17 For our light affliction,

which is but for a moment,

worketh for us

a far more exceeding

and eternal

weight of glory;

18 While we look not

at the things which are seen,

but at the things which are not seen:

for the things which are seen

are temporal;

but the things which are not seen

are eternal.”   2 Corinthians 4:15-18

So remember today, what you see isn’t really what you get—God’s glory is so real and we must keep “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith”; (See Hebrews 12:2), knowing that God is working ‘all things’ for our good, that we might “be conformed to the image of his Son”!!! Amen and Amen! (See Romans 8:28-29) Just keep following Jesus—through the expected and the “un”expected!!! Whatever is going on, it hasn’t caught God by surprise!!!

 

Safe In Your Storm??? Bible Ballistics: BBs #389

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Bible Ballistics: BBs  #389   Safe In Your Storm???

 

When thou passest through the waters,

I will be with thee;

and through the rivers,

they shall not overflow thee:

when thou walkest through the fire,

thou shalt not be burned;

neither shall the flame kindle

upon thee.” Isaiah 42:2

God never promised that we wouldn’t encounter storms! But He does promise that He will be with us when we face stormy situations. He promises to be with us, and Psalmist, David understood who His God was, is and ever shall be:

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.”    Psalm 23:1

Like David, we can come to know God as the faithful Shepherd, Redeemer and Deliverer, for God never says, “oops”, and He is never caught off guard! Instead He is our “all in all”, in any and every situation. (See Colossians 3:11)

Trust in the LORD

with all thine heart;

and lean not

unto thine own understanding.

6 In all thy ways

acknowledge him,

and he shall direct

thy paths. Proverbs 3:5-6

We must simply (though it’s not ‘easy’) trust in the Lord God Almighty and His Son Jesus to direct our steps!!! I have learned through the years, that when we will trust and obey the clear directions of God, HE absolutely will direct our paths—yet we so often choose to go ‘our own’ way! But when we choose to walk in His ways, He promises that He will never leave us to walk HIS path alone!

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have:

for he hath said,

I will never leave thee,

nor forsake thee.

6 So that we may boldly say,

The Lord is my helper,

and I will not fear

what man shall do unto me.”    Hebrews 13:5-6

He has never failed me, and He never will, for He is The God Most High, who cannot lie, and keeps His ‘Word’, all of it! I’d like to share the first verses of a few of the Psalms from 23-35 (Read them all for yourself!), they all speak to the faithfulness of The God who saves and delivers! Here are a few for you to ponder today, no matter the storm that you may be facing!!!

The earth is the LORD’S, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” Psalm 24:1

Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.” Psalm 25:1

Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide.” Psalm 26:1

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 27:1

Salvation-No Sin No Need??? Bible Ballistics: Vol. 10 No. 8

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Bible Ballistics: Vol. 10 No.8 Salvation—No Sin No Need???

 

And she shall bring forth a son,

and thou shalt call his name JESUS:

for he shall save his people

from their sins.”  Matthew 1:21

Jesus came to save us because sin IS the issue for all mankind. But when we ignore the issue, we loose the urgency and import of real Holy Ghost, Biblical salvation from sin. Salvation that makes a sinner into a saint; that makes a new creature IN Jesus Christ! Jesus came to save lost sinners, to transform hearts and lives and restore men to a relationship of son-ship and peace with God! (Jn. 1:12-13)

For the Son of man is come

to seek

and to save

that which was lost.” Luke 19:10

Therefore being justified by faith,

we have peace with God

through our Lord Jesus Christ:

2 By whom also we have access

by faith

into this grace

wherein we stand,

and rejoice

in hope

of the glory of God.”    Romans 5:1-2

Unless we recognize sin in our own lives, we can’t call others to repent from sin. We must share and preach God’s truth, God’s way. What do I mean by that? Well, what I am saying is that we can’t keep compromising and trying to sanitize sin. When we reject the notion of sin, we eliminate the need for a Savior! Jesus came to “seek and to save that which was lost” because all are lost without Him! Scripture proclaims it and we must stop trying to deny the reality of sin, and call the lost to recognize sin, repent from it, and believe in Jesus’ death, burial and resurrection for all our sin! If we claim to have no sin, then Jesus came in vain.

All we

like sheep

have gone astray;

we have turned

every one

to his own way;

and the LORD hath laid on him

the iniquity of us all.

7 He was oppressed,

and he was afflicted,

yet he opened not his mouth:

he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter,

and as a sheep before her shearers

is dumb,

so he openeth not his mouth.”   Isaiah 53:6-7

Adam brought all men under the curse of sin, making us all guilty of sin by nature (what we call original sin), but we are also guilty of sin because we choose to sin (personal sin).

For all have sinned,

and come short of the glory of God;

24 Being justified freely

by his grace

through the redemption

that is in Christ Jesus:”   Romans 3:23

We have not only sinned, but we also have come short of God’s glory. Just as Paul told us in Romans 5, where he declares that when we are redeemed by The Lamb, Jesus Christ, we have the hope of God’s glory for all eternity: we are justified (made judicially right before God—our sin debt, which we couldn’t pay, has been paid by Jesus) by the blood of Jesus—made right with God, saved from our sin!

For when we were yet without strength,

in due time Christ died

for the ungodly.

7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die:

yet peradventure for a good man

some would even dare to die.

8 But God commendeth his love

toward us,

in that, while we were yet sinners,

Christ died for us.

9 Much more then,

being now justified

by his blood,

we shall be saved

from wrath

through him.

10 For if, when we were enemies,

we were reconciled

to God

by the death of his Son,

much more, being reconciled,

we shall be saved

by his life.

11 And not only so,

but we also joy in God

through our Lord Jesus Christ,

by whom we have now received

the atonement.” Romans 5:6-11

We can be reconciled to God (restored to a relationship), and our sins can be covered by the blood of Jesus which atones (satisfaction for a wrong done) for our sin— our choice to go “astray” and turning “every one to his own way”, as Isaiah so clearly describes for us in the beautiful passage that prophesied of what Jesus would do for us. Go over Isaiah 53 in your Bible and read what Jesus did for us, all who have “gone astray”! There has only been one sinless man and that is the Lord Jesus Christ, and because He had no sin, He was the spotless Lamb of God who went to the cross “as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth”! Jesus went to the cross for you and me—because all have sinned!!!

For even hereunto were ye called:

because Christ also suffered for us,

leaving us an example,

that ye should follow his steps:

22 Who did no sin,

neither was guile found in his mouth:

23 Who, when he was reviled,

reviled not again;

when he suffered,

he threatened not;

but committed himself

to him that judgeth righteously:

24 Who his own self bare our sins

in his own body

on the tree,

that we, being dead to sins,

should live unto righteousness:

by whose stripes ye were healed.

25 For ye were as sheep

going astray;

but are now returned

unto the Shepherd

and Bishop

of your souls.” 1 Peter 2:21-25

Peter goes back to Isaiah 53, and shows us that Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of Isaiah. Oh the glory of God’s plan—Jesus gave His life for mine/yours, and He did it willingly and all by the foreknowledge of God!

Ye men of Israel, hear these words;

Jesus of Nazareth,

a man approved of God

among you

by miracles

and wonders

and signs,

which God did by him

in the midst of you,

as ye yourselves also know:

23 Him,

being delivered

by the determinate counsel

and foreknowledge of God,

ye have taken,

and by wicked hands

have crucified and slain:”    Acts 2:22-23

Jesus was the plan before the foundation of the world. He isn’t plan “B”, because the “Law” failed, but He was the plan all along, and the “Law” of God was, as Paul describes it, was a ‘school master’ to show us all our sin!!! It was always about Jesus, who would come as the Lamb of God, to take away the sin of the world. He wouldn’t be a temporary covering for sin, but He would take it out of the equation for all who would repent and believe in His payment for sin, one plan for all time which God revealed at the right time.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as

he hath chosen us

in him

before the foundation of the world,

that we should be holy

and without blame

before him in love:” Ephesians 1:3-4

It was, is and ever shall be all IN Jesus, God’s plan before He even created the world! He knew the cost and yet He created us anyway! You talk about amazing grace!!!

Forasmuch as ye know

that ye were not redeemed

with corruptible things,

as silver and gold,

from your vain conversation

received by tradition

from your fathers;

19 But with the precious blood of Christ,

as of a lamb without blemish

and without spot:

20 Who verily was foreordained

before the foundation of the world,

but was manifest in these last times

for you,

21 Who by him

do believe in God,

that raised him up from the dead,

and gave him glory;

that your faith

and hope

might be in God.”1 Peter 1:18-21

It’s our faith in the atoning work of Jesus who died for our sins and was raised from the dead that saves. God did it all for you and me, He raised Jesus up from the dead so that we could have life. Paul gives us a very concise account of the truths of salvation, the Gospel in a nutshell.

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you

the gospel

which I preached unto you,

which also ye have received,

and wherein ye stand;

2 By which also ye are saved,

if ye keep in memory

what I preached unto you,

unless ye have believed in vain.

3 For I delivered unto you first of all

that which I also received,

how that Christ died

for our sins

according to the scriptures;

4 And that he was buried,

and that he rose again

the third day

according to the scriptures:

5 And that he was seen of Cephas,

then of the twelve:” 1 Corinthians 15:1-5

Paul makes it clear, just as John The Baptizer did; that the Gospel is that Jesus died, was buried and resurrected to pay for our sin, and all “according to the scriptures”! God promised salvation throughout the Old Testament, and Jesus brought it all to fulfillment in His sacrifice for us. And He will also keep His promises of His return.

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith,

Behold the Lamb of God,

which taketh away the sin of the world.”   John 1:29

Just as we said earlier, Jesus came to die to take “away the sin of the world”!!! He didn’t come to cover it up, but to take it away for all who would come to Him. But without Him there is no remission (removal of or payment of) of sin.

And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” Hebrews 9:22

Jesus came to pay for sin—yet without His salvation to pay for sin, all are destined to pay for their own sin.

For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23

Even Jesus made it clear that He is the only way to salvation, and without Him there is only condemnation.

For God so loved the world,

that he gave

his only begotten Son,

that whosoever believeth in him

should not perish,

but have everlasting life.

17 For God sent not his Son

into the world

to condemn the world;

but that the world

through him

might be saved.

18 He that believeth on him

is not condemned:

but he that believeth not

is condemned already,

because he hath not believed

in the name

of the only begotten

Son of God.

19 And this is the condemnation,

that light is come into the world,

and men loved darkness

rather than light,

because their deeds were evil.

20 For every one that doeth evil

hateth the light,

neither cometh to the light,

lest his deeds should be reproved.”    John 3:16-20

Condemnation or ‘eternal life’, that is the question! We can choose to receive the “gift of God” which is “eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”! Oh what grace, mercy and love we have been given in the redemption (Buying back, because God was our creator, but in Adam’s sin we died spiritually and lost our kinship with God, but redemption buys us back—it’s what this is all about!), but we have no hope without Him? But when we recognize our sin, then we can receive life in Jesus. If we refuse to recognize our sin, and don’t repent and trust Jesus for salvation from sin’s penalty, we must pay for our own sin. John had a lot to say about sin in his letter to beleivers!

But if we walk in the light,

as he is in the light,

we have fellowship one with another,

and the blood of Jesus Christ

his Son cleanseth us from all sin.

8 If we say that we have no sin,

we deceive ourselves,

and the truth is not in us.

9 If we confess our sins,

he is faithful

and just

to forgive us our sins,

and to cleanse us

from all unrighteousness.

10 If we say that we have not sinned,

we make him a liar,

and his word is not in us.” 1 John 1:7-10

The choice is clear, we can confess our sins and find salvation and eternal life IN Jesus, or we can deceive ourselves, denying that we have any sin (or calling it something else), and God will hold us accountable for our own sin! Are you deceiving yourself or are you listening to the call of Jesus to repent and believe?

Some of you may be wondering why we spend so much time on the Gospel, but it is what we are called to, as children of God and followers of Jesus. Let’s examine what Jesus commissioned us to as He was about to ascended to The Father. When you face Him, what will you hear, “Well done, good and faithful servant”? Or will you hear a different response, “Depart from me, I never knew you”?

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying,

All power is given unto me

in heaven and in earth.

19 Go ye therefore,

and teach all nations,

baptizing them

in the name of the Father,

and of the Son,

and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things

whatsoever I have commanded you:

and, lo,

I am with you alway,

even unto the end of the world.

Amen.”   Matthew 28:18-20

What are you spreading as YOU go, the truth of the Gospel or are you living out the lies of the enemy? Choose wisely!