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Archive for December, 2012

Incarnation (1)

December 31st, 2012
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Scripture of the Day: Isaiah 6:1-3

1 In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.

2 Above him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying.

3 And they were calling to one another:

 “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;

the whole earth is full of his glory.”(NIV)

 We are Christians. This means we believe Jesus born of the virgin Mary is the Son of God.

 It also means that we believe statements like:

 “If you’ve seen me, you’ve seen the Father.”

 Or Paul saying , “In him the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily.”

 Or John saying that Jesus is the divine Logos that was with God from the beginning; he has now become flesh and dwelt among us.

 This great revelation lies at the centre of everything we profess.

 And as a result there is a great question we face in the NT.

 How do we have a Sovereign God, holy and majestic, the one described in Isaiah and the God who is with us upon this earth in our sufferings and realities of our daily lives?

 Ray Anderson said:

 If we accept that as the true narrative of Jesus’ life – the incarnation – then we can answer the question, “Where is God in all of this?” Well, God is both above and below. Our God is entirely God as the one above us and the one with us.

 In the New Testament, what was implicit or nascent has now come to birth, has now come into reality through Jesus, who can now say, “Everything that was intimated by the presence of YHVH in the Old Testament is embodied in me, I am the temple, the temple is now within me, I embody the reality of God with you.”

 The great mystery of the incarnation is that God has entered the very story of Israel. The great IAM is actually present with his people as one of them.

 Jesus was born as part of the historic story of Israel as revealed in the gospel genealogies. He was born a real person in history.

 

Message for the Day

5 Ds of Hebrews Departing (31)

December 30th, 2012
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Scripture of the Day: Hebrews 13:8, 20-21

8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. (NIV)

All of what we have spoken about is summed up in this great statement A fact he has proved and pledged by his resurrection. Everything we are today is in him and everything we will be in the future is in him.

There is nothing in all creation that can alter that.

20 May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, 21 equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Message for the Day

5 Ds of Hebrews Departing (30)

December 29th, 2012
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Scripture of the Day: Hebrews 12:28-29

28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.”(NIV)

He burns up everything that is not real. That means that is not under his Lordship.

So let’s now look at  7 Certainties of our faith which cannot be changed or be shaken:

1.    The fact of God’s Being and Character

That means that notwithstanding every human circumstance his presence and character are always the same.

His purpose for us changes not. He has always been for us and will always be for us.

John summarized this by saying God is love.

So what we can be absolutely assured of:

God is always patient, kind. He does not envy, boast. He is not proud. God is not rude, is not self-seeking, is not easily angered, keeps no record of wrongs. God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  God always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

And God never fails. God always remains.

And how do we know this?

2. The Revelation of God in the Person of Jesus Christ.

There is no higher or more complete knowledge of God than what we see in the person of Jesus Christ. If you have seen him you have seen the Father.

In him all the fullness of God lives in bodily form.

There is no other source to go to. He is the head of our life.

And where do we find this knowledge?

3. The reality of Christ’s personal experiences during his earthly life as recorded in the Gospels

This means our High Priest was fully human. He entered completely the human condition to be permanently in union with us.

There is no separation. Nothing in creation can break that union.

This means we have:

4. The redemption effected in Christ’s work: not just a Teacher but a Saviour.

We are not just hearing a moral teacher of his time. We are not just seeking to follow this Teacher.

Jesus saves us. That means we died in him and we have been made alive in him. It means that our life is now hidden with him in God.

5. The provision of spiritual blessings in Christ.

By his death, Resurrection and Ascension, Christ is shown to be the source of grace. this grace is sufficient for every need.

When we are weak, we are made strong. The outward man may perish, but inwardly we are renewed.

6.  The freedom we have through the Spirit of the Lord.

Freedom from fear, freedom from power of sin and death, freedom from condemnation, freedom to be everything God intended us to be: his children who cry Abba and bear his image to the whole creation.

No wonder totalitarian despots hate Christians. They have a divine power over their thoughts to bring down all pretensions and arguments against the knowledge of God.

7. The certainty of the ultimate triumph of Christian hope in the revelation of the Lord from heaven to usher in and establish his Kingdom.

Amid all earth’s upheavals this blessed hope is the promise of complete victory.

Message for the Day