Monday, January 19, 2009

Words of Encouragement

Who is Christ?

The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him. - Deuteronomy 18:15

Prophet Like Moses. The scripture today is from Moses as he speaks to the children of Israel. He is telling them that God will raise up other prophets for them from amongst the people. This scripture is also used to point to Jesus. The belief by the Jewish people as they waited for a Messiah is that he would be a prophet like Moses. Even Jesus' going up on the mountain when he gave his message was a shadowing of this same section of scripture. The people had asked that Moses go speak for them because they could not stand to see God face to face or they would die. Moses became the one that would go up to the mountain to get the word but Jesus went up the mountain to give the word for he was the word.

What this scripture is telling us then if it points to Jesus is that God sent his Son so that he would present to us God's word. We can know the instruction of the Lord because his Son embodies it. The command then is for us to listen to him. We must listen to the words of God so that we can live the life God has planned for us.

Prayer: God, help me to listen to your word. You sent your word and it became flesh. Jesus is the word and he has the instruction for our lives, help us to hear it and obey it. Amen.

'In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David's line; he will do what is just and right in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.' For this is what the LORD says: 'David will never fail to have a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel, nor will the priests, who are Levites, ever fail to have a man to stand before me continually to offer burnt offerings, to burn grain offerings and to present sacrifices. - Jeremiah 33:16-18

The Restorer. This scripture from Jeremiah as he is still confined speaks of the time when God will restore his people. Briefly, Jeremiah has been speaking to the people about their disobedience and the punishment that will come because of their refusal to heed. This scripture is a promise to those in bondage that God will not forget about his promise to them, even though they do not deserve it. His promise is there will be someone that will sprout up from the "stump" of David. Remember the kingdom was in ruins and it did not look like there would be another king to rule over Israel. God's promise is that stump is there and I will sprout from it something new. It is through this one that God will send that the people will be saved. Note, we are not to take it literally that someone will burn offerings, because that is not the case. What we can take from this scripture is that God will always have someone that will represent the priest that offers a sacrifice. Jesus is that sprout. Jesus is the final king and priest that sprung forth from the line of David. Jesus was not only the priest but he was also the last offering that was needed. He was the lamb and the priest. For you and I today that reminds us that God offers this same thing to us. He offers to us Jesus as our priest and king as well as the sacrifice for our sins. We can be restored to a right place because of what God has done through his Son.

Prayer: Lord thank you for giving us a priest that continually stands before you on our behalf. Thank you for the lamb that was slain for my sins that gave me the opportunity to call Jesus our Lord and King. Help me this day to accept all that you have given to me as I discover more and more who Jesus is. Amen.

In that day the Root of Jesse will stand as a banner for the peoples; the nations will rally to him, and his place of rest will be glorious. - Isaiah 11:10

Salvation offered to all. This scripture talks about the root of Jesse (the same as the shoot of David) that will stand as a banner for the people. It also talks about how in "that time" God will seek his remnant and gather them to himself. This scripture speaks to what we see Jesus doing now. Through Jesus, the root of Jesse and the king that was promised through the line of David (for Jesse is David's father so we are still in the same family line). This root being Jesus is the banner that waves before the people of a safe haven. The banner will call the nations to and will find a place of rest in him. This place of rest is glorious! That is the truth of salvation in and through Christ. It is glorious to find the peace, rest and joy of God as offered because of his saving grace. Who is Christ? He is the plan of salvation that God set for the entire world and not only those that are of the Jewish people. There are those today that have accepted Christ as their savior and this is proof of God's faithfulness to the Jewish people, that he is drawing that remnant to himself along with all that are in need of him.

Prayer: Lord thank you today for your saving grace. Thank you for knowing what I needed and preparing the way for that to happen. Thank you that you sent your son to draw me to you so that I could have the glorious rest that comes through Christ. Amen.

to open eyes that are blind, to free captives from prison and to release from the dungeon those who sit in darkness. - Isaiah 42:7

The miraculous. Jesus' walk on this earth showed not only his mission but his power and authority. Jesus came to give sight to the blind. We read in scripture of Jesus healing of those that were affirmed. The scripture also says that Jesus came to set the captives free from prison. There are individuals that are locked up in prisons of sin and cannot be released in their own power. Jesus came to release from the deep dungeons those that are sitting in darkness. In that darkness it is cold and lifeless. Jesus came to set people free from the cold and lifeless existence to a life full of life in God. Jesus' miracles did not stop when he ascended. His miracles are still evident today. The beauty of it is he still lets the captives free and brings sight to the blind (spiritually) through the preaching of his word and the movement of his Spirit.

Prayer: Lord thank you for the miracle of salvation. Thank you for Jesus' power to set us free from all things that would keep us in bondage. We thank you for all that you set before us. Thank you for offering the beauty of your gift of your son. Thank you for helping me to know more and more about who is Christ.

Therefore I will praise you among the nations, O LORD; I will sing praises to your name. - Psalm 18:49

Worthy of Worship. This psalm starts with psalmist saying God is his strength. The psalm speaks of worshipping God even in the midst of the difficulties and how God has been a refuge and help in trouble. This praise and worship to God is also appropriate for his Son. Jesus opened to us the opportunity to come to God and be saved from the sin punishment that was upon our lives. Jesus came healing the physical as well as the spiritual sickness in the lives of people. He also restored to humanity the ability to be in the image of God which constitutes a right relationship. Knowing all this then we have much to be thankful about.

Prayer: So we can say today, Lord I will praise your name. I will sing praises to your name. This means when I wake up in the morning I will thank you for this day and for all that you have given to me. I will sing words that will honor you and show my love for you. Lord today I say thank you for who Christ is. Help me to see you and to understand your will for my life. Amen.