“Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. The Lord has made his salvation known and revealed his righteousness to the nations. 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, with trumpets and the blast of the ram’s horn—-shout for joy before the Lord, the King. Let the sea resound, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” (Psalm 98:1-2, 4-7 – Close Relationship between God’s 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, by Your intentional revealing of Your own righteousness with us Your people, it becomes a strong witness to others whom have not accepted You through Your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ, as yet. We are sent by You to talk to those in the world and reveal You to them, via your love and faithfulness. 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:
“Nothing we do to punish others for hurting us, will bring us healing.”
“How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does no know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be had not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. Everyone who has this hope in him purifies himself, just as he is pure. Everyone who sins breaks the law; in face, sin is lawlessness. But you know that he appeared so that he might take away our sins. And in him is no sin. No one who lives in him keeps on sinning. No one who continues to sin has either seen him or known him.” (1st John 3:1-6 – God’s Children )
Our definition for sin in both the Old and New Testaments is lawlessness. Though sin is more than just breaking the law, that certainly is part of it. Law may refer to Old Testament commandments, or to New Testament moral teachings of Jesus. It represents a willing rejection of God’s right and to direct our lives. Sin is following the law of human and satanic desire, rather than following Christ in the way of God. Jesus had a mission coming from heaven to earth, to destroy everything Satan has accomplished and to deal with our sin problem. God loves us so much He adopted us as children. This distinguishes us from all people who do not follow Christ. When Jesus appears, His followers will be like Him. We can never be exactly the same as He is, but it will be enough to be like Him. The prospect of seeing Christ at His return is a purifying hope. To see Him is to become like His at last. Since he is pure, purity is required to be like Him. The goal for believers is to become increasingly Christlike!
SECOND THOUGHT OF THE DAY:
“ The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, ‘Look, the Lamb of God,’ who takes away the sin of the world! This the one I meant when I said, ‘A man who comes after me has surpassed me because he was before me.’ ‘I myself did not know him, but the reason I came to baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.’ Then John gave this testimony: ‘I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remained on him. I would not have know him, except that the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is he who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is the Son of God.’” (John 1:29-34 – ( Jesus Lamb of God )
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.
A lamb symbolized the Jewish sacrifices (Ex. 12:3-44, 21)13:13; 29:38-41; Lev. 4:32 14:10; Nu 29:7-11). The Suffering Servant was pictured as a sacrificial lamb (Isa 53). Jesus took up all the rich symbolism of Jewish sacrifice on Himself, dying as the Passover Lamb, leading out of slavery to sin, and suffering as the Servant for the sins of many. Through Christ the Lamb atonement is available to those who believe in Him. God worked out plan of revelation. He introduced the Old Testament system of Sacrifices to help people know their need of of salvation and the means to restore right relationship with God. He sent John to prepare the way for Jesus and testify about Him. He sent Jesus to accomplish what the sacrificial system introduced—-saving relationship to God. God then revealed to John that he would see the Spirit come to the Messiah. At Jesus’ baptism, the Spirit revealed Jesus as the Son of God, and then revealed this to others through his own testimony. The revelation chain here included private experience with God, the Spirit’s testimony and John’s human witness.