“Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for hi. The Lord has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations. He has remembered his love and his faithfulness to the house of Israel; all the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing.” (Psalm 98:1-5 – Praise God’s Awesomeness )
God’s awesome holiness does not separate Him from His people. It enables Him to bring salvation. Beloved, God’s saving involvement in Israel’s national and individual lives called forth praise from His people and from the nations. They revealed God’s love was more than an abstract idea used by theologians. His love gained concrete expression in His historical actions. Note the close relationship between His love and righteousness and salvation. Letting His people see His salvation reveals to all people that He is righteous. He acts to save because He loves and is faithful to His purposes and promises.
PRAYER FOR THE DAY:
Dear Abba, everything You do reveals the true character and love that You have for us, and seek to guide us in living righteous lives, in service for You. In the meantime continue to pray our troops serving in faraway lands and those in the continuing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, that the recent offer from Ukraine for finding a peaceful solution brings Russia to come and work for a peaceful conclusion to the fighting. We also pray for those who are suffering in body, mind, and/or spirit, with friends, family, and for those we don’t know. Amen
THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“Kindness and love are never out of style.”
“Who is the liar? It is the man who denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a man is the antichrist—-he denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. See that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this what he promised us—-even eternal life. I am writing these things to you about those who are trying to lead you astray. As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—-just as it has caught you, remain in him. And now, dear children, continue in him, so that when he appears we may be confident and unashamed before him at his coming. If you know that he is righteous, you know that everyone who does what is right has been born of him.” (1st John 2:22-29 – Love of God and His Ways, Not the World’s )
Jesus is the promised Messiah of Israel fulfilling all God’s promises. To deny this to oppose the deity of Jesus as the Son of God,, thus to be on Satan’s side. The Bible teaches both the real humanity of Jesus and His real deity as God’s Son. Faith holds the two together without explaining how this can be true. Beloved, John warned against false christs or messiahs and against those who deny Jesus is the messianic Son of God. He looked to Christ’s appearance (phaneroo) and (parousia, both technical terms referring to the final coming. John connected the final coming with his call to continued faithfulness. Faith that Christ will come again calls us to obey Him until that day. Confidence before the Lord at His return is the result of a life lived in union or fellowship with Him. The goal of Christian living should be that of being able to meet the Lord without shame. God is righteous, meaning that He not only opposes what is evil but is the source of what is right. He actively seeks to make His people righteous. Righteous lives reveal that God is still at work. God is the standard of righteousness. Believers of God through Christ Jesus are His born again children who imitate His actions by doing what is right, whether or not anyone is looking or not.
One additional thought beloved is that in the United States, a group simply named, “He Gets Us” and it traces back to what is referred to as the Redeemed Church. Each commercial has a short comment and how the humanity of Jesus reveals how much he is like us. This group is spending $100 million dollars on this marketing campaign, but my biggest issue with them is that they are do not recognize the deity of Jesus, on his humanity. In 1st John 22, it begins with “who is the liar? It is the one who claims Jesus is not the Christ, the Son of Man. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. In short, we serve a Triune God; Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This marketing campaign does not recognize Jesus as the Messiah, God’s Son and we all know this is Satan working to separate Jesus’ deity as God’s Son, from being a human. Yes he was both, but to only recognize the humanity is an old trick from Satan, so be aware of these commercial’s and the damage they can do. There are several other examples, so be wary of what you see and take in.
SECOND THOUGH OF THE DAY:
“Now this was John’s testimony when the Jews of Jerusalem sent priests and the Levites to ask him who he was. He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, ‘I am not the Christ.’ They asked him, ‘Then who are you? Are you Elijah?’ ‘He said, ‘I am not.’ ‘Are you a Prophet?’ He answered, ‘No.’ Finally they said, ‘Who are you? Give us an answer to take back to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?’ John replied in the words of Isaiah the prophet, ‘I am the voice of one calling in the desert, ‘Make straight the way for the Lord.’ Now some Pharisees who have been sent questioned him, ‘What then do you baptize if your are not the Christ, not Elijah, nor the Prophet?’ ‘I baptize with water,’ John replied, ‘But among you stands one you do not know. He is the one who comes after me, the thongs of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie.’ This all happened at Bethany on the other side of the or, where John was baptizing. The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world!’” (John 1:19-28 – ( “Fulfillment of Prophecy” )
John’s Gospel does not describe the baptism of Jesus as in Matthew, Mark, and Luke’s accounts; instead, it describes John the Baptist’s account. Even after John’s account, there were still followers throughout the first century who believed in John the Baptist, though he de-emphasized his own ministry and emphasized Jesus’ ministry. John noted that his poor living conditions pointed not the the Messiah, but to his being the one in the desert, thus the forerunner to the Messiah. John claimed God had given him a sign to identify the Messiah. That sign was the coming and remaining of the Holy Spirit. The rabbi’s taught that the Spirit of God left the earth when the last of the prophets and would not return until the coming of the Messiah. Thus, Jesus baptism was a confirmation of His messiahship. The Spirit of God came in the visual symbol of a dove, and the voice of God was heard. As Christians today, we receive God’s Messiah, through the power of the Holy Spirit, and we share in the witness of the New Testament and the Baptist’s remarkable claim, “This the Son of God (v 34). Again Happy New Year and I pray that 2023 is good for you all.