Psalms (Program #10) – What Kind of Man May Dwell with God for His Heart’s Desire and Good Pleasure?
In the gospel of Mark in chapter 8, there’s a marvelous account of the Lord Jesus healing a blind man. After laying hands on the man, the Lord asked him if he could see anything. The man responded by saying that he could see man, but as trees walking. Well, his sight was partially restored but not yet cleared. So the Lord touched his eyes again and this time the Bible says, ‘And he began to see all things clearly’. This is how we are in our spiritual seeing. We need the Lord’s continual touch and healing of our spiritual eyes, especially when we come to His word. Take a book like Psalms. It’s quite easy to see something on the surface, but do we see all things clearly? Do we see Christ unveiled, magnified and exalted? Lord be merciful to us all, touch our seeing again and again.
1 & 2 Samuel (Program #14) – The History Concerning David (2)
Throughout the ages, many have opposed God and oppressed His people. On one hand, it could be said that God has many enemies; but actually God has only one unique enemy – man. Man fights against God and this man is the flesh. The teaching regarding the flesh is found in many New Testament books and passages like Galatians 5 that tells us that, “For the flesh lusts against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh; for these oppose each other that you would not do the things that you desire.” But it takes the Old Testament pictures and types to illustrate how we all are subject to the evil of the flesh and how diligent we all must be to keep it where the Lord Jesus left crucified on the cross. If our eyes are open, we will see these Old Testament books such as 1 Samuel in a different, fresh and very new way that brings these things into a sharper focus.
Of all the disciples called by the Lord Jesus in the gospels, probably the one we can most readily identify with is Peter. Simon Barjona as he was known before the Lord changed his name to Peter. In John chapter 1 was as impetuous as he was fervent and often found himself as the target of the Lord Jesus’ reprove.
Recall for example in Matthew chapter 16, Peter’s sympathetic suggestion to the Lord that He should keep Himself from the suffering of death that He knew awaited Him. “get behind Me, Satan” was the Lord’s reply. “You are a stumbling block to Me, for you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of men.” How could Peter possibly recovered from such a stinging rebuke?
And of course it was also Peter, who denied the Lord three times during the hour of trial preceding the actual crucifixion. Yet only days later it was this same Peter who stood on the day of Pentecost and usher thousands into the kingdom with his powerful and dynamic speaking.
And not only so, in his two epistles, Peter uses language and phrases so rich and full of high and profound meaning that we can’t help but marvel at the power of God’s full salvation. That this unlearned fisherman could write such thing. Listen to his word in 1 Peter,
1:18 “Knowing that it was not with corruptible things, with silver or gold, that you were redeemed from your vain manner of life handed down from your fathers,”
19 “But with precious blood, as of a Lamb without blemish and without spot, the blood of Christ;”
Welcome to our first life-study of the book of 1 Peter.
1 Thessalonians (Program #19) – Our Heart to be Established Blameless in Holiness and our Body to be Preserved Clean in Sanctification
Proverbs 4:23 says: Keep your heart with all vigilance, For from it are the issues of life.
So, how do you keep your heart? Well, if you are a seeker and lover of the Lord Jesus, and that you want to stay with us for a special life study program from 1 Thessalonians today, entitled “Our Heart to be Established Blameless in Holiness.”
When we look at the kind of human life the Lord Jesus lived on the earth and if we take His teachings as an ethical standard for us to imitate, we will set our Christian life on a direct path that will lead us to utter frustration and failure. And worst yet, it will leave God’s heart’s desire unsatisfied because the real example of the Lord Jesus was not just that He lived the perfect life, but that He all the time practiced to live another life. This might sound strange and contrary to what you’ve known and practiced concerning the Christian life, but it, nonetheless, is the clear teaching of the Bible. We need not live a good life. We need to live Christ.
Colossians 1:13 says, “Who delivered us out of the authority of darkness and transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love”. This is a marvelous verse that is well beloved by many that love the Lord Jesus especially those whose background is easily described by the phrase “authority of darkness”. If we had a particularly sinful and dark past then likely our appreciation of this transfer is quite keen. To many others that may not have such an evil and wicked past seemingly, so while they may agree doctrinally that such a transfer has taken place, the heartfelt realization may not be quite as strong. But what was the apostle Paul referring to when he wrote these words to the believers in Colossi? The answer to this question will likely surprise you.
Galatians (Program #36) – Sow unto the Spirit for the New Creation
The book of Galatians ends with this marvelous word in Galatians 6:18 “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. Amen.” If grace is God Himself in Christ through the Spirit to be our daily supply, it’s most helpful to find out how to experience such grace be with your spirit. These are the words that we’ll focus on in today’s life study of the Bible.
The coming of the Lord Jesus Christ brought in a complete change in the way God dealt with men. His desire today is to bring a rich and bountiful supply of His Spirit to all His children. But, how do we receive this supply? Galatians 3:5 says, “He therefore who bountifully supplies to you the Spirit and does works of power among you, does He do it out of the works of law or out of the hearing of faith?” Are we still struggling under the law or are we receiving the Spirit through faith? Stay tuned for today’s life study of the Bible.
Ezekiel (Program #24) – The River Flowing from the House
An outstanding feature that appears again and again throughout the pages of the Bible both in the Old Testament and the New is a river. The river was prominent in Genesis and the river appears in the books of history and the books of the prophets in the Old Testament. This river is still flowing in the gospels especially in the Gospel of John where the river flows out of the pierced side of the Lord Jesus. And it continues to flow right through the final chapters of Revelation where it is seen proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb in the New Jerusalem. In all of these mentions the river is a very positive factor, very much related to the matter of the divine eternal life. One of the more striking appearances that this river makes is in Ezekiel 47 where it’s seen flowing out of the house of God. In this chapter it becomes a deep river – too deep and too wide to be passed over. The one that we have no choice but to abandon ourselves to and swim in.
Ezekiel (Program #20) – The Temple and Side Chambers
The gospel of John gives us the unforgettable picture of Jesus coming into the temple in Jerusalem. And in the display of the most righteous anger, the sight of God’s house being turned into a place of merchandise and commerce, He cleanses the temple – overturning the tables and chasing the peddlers away. Immediately following this comes a profound exchange between the Lord Jesus and the religionists. In John 2:18-21, “The Jews then answered and said to Him, What sign do you show us, seeing that you do these things? Jesus answered and said to them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then the Jews said, This temple was built in forty-six years, and You will raise it up in three days? But He spoke of the a temple of His body.” What makes this word so meaningful is that John clearly identifies Jesus as the real temple, the real house of God. This means even as we consider the temple in the Old Testament such as in Ezekiel’s great vision in chapters 40 to 48, we must realize that this is a type of the Lord Jesus Himself and of the church, the New Testament, the enlargement of God’s house.