Category Archives: Christ

Thoughts on Election Eve…

Psalm 33

1 Shout for joy in the Lord, O you righteous!
Praise befits the upright.
2 Give thanks to the Lord with the lyre;
make melody to him with the harp of ten strings!
3 Sing to him a new song;
play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.

4 For the word of the Lord is upright,
and all his work is done in faithfulness.
5 He loves righteousness and justice;
the earth is full of the steadfast love of the Lord.

6 By the word of the Lord the heavens were made,
and by the breath of his mouth all their host.
7 He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap;
he puts the deeps in storehouses.

8 Let all the earth fear the Lord;
let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him!
9 For he spoke, and it came to be;
he commanded, and it stood firm.

10 The Lord brings the counsel of the nations to nothing;
he frustrates the plans of the peoples.
11 The counsel of the Lord stands forever,
the plans of his heart to all generations.
12 Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!

13 The Lord looks down from heaven;
he sees all the children of man;
14 from where he sits enthroned he looks out
on all the inhabitants of the earth,
15 he who fashions the hearts of them all
and observes all their deeds.
16 The king is not saved by his great army;
a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
17 The war horse is a false hope for salvation,
and by its great might it cannot rescue.

18 Behold, the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,
on those who hope in his steadfast love,
19 that he may deliver their soul from death
and keep them alive in famine.

20 Our soul waits for the Lord;
he is our help and our shield.
21 For our heart is glad in him,
because we trust in his holy name.
22 Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,
even as we hope in you.

Let us pray boldly that our gracious Father, the merciful,  just and holy, would display His power in the hearts of the people tomorrow, that He may save us from the president we so deserve for our idolatry, our self worship, our fear of persecution, and our passivity to the plight of those who are perishing. When He has spoken tomorrow let us remember this is his Sovereign righteous judgment made manifest to us. In the event of this temporal defeat, remember that it is our Lord who said in Matthew 5:45b:

For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

and as the Psalmist writes in chapter 75:

6 For not from the east or from the west
and not from the wilderness comes lifting up,
7 but it is God who executes judgment,
putting down one and lifting up another.

8 For in the hand of the Lord there is a cup
with foaming wine, well mixed,
and he pours out from it,
and all the wicked of the earth
shall drain it down to the dregs.

and in Daniel 4:

17 The sentence is by the decree of the watchers, the decision by the word of the holy ones, to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men and gives it to whom he will and sets over it the lowliest of men.’

Our Lord’s purposes will be accomplished, all for His glory and majesty, to the fulfillment of the Kingdom. Follow the example of David, after suffering the loss of a son for his own sin.

19 But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David understood that the child was dead. And David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” They said, “He is dead.” 20 Then David arose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. He then went to his own house. And when he asked, they set food before him, and he ate.

Let us exalt the majestic name of our Lord, our Messiah, our Christ, our redeemer, the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world! To the ends that we make His glory our joy, only through the name of the Son.

14 But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, 16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life. Who is sufficient [1] for these things? 17 For we are not, like so many, peddlers of God’s word, but as men of sincerity, as commissioned by God, in the sight of God we speak in Christ. -2 Cor 2

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John 15:1-11

I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit, He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit, He prunes it so that it may bear more fruit. you are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, and you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me, you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be my disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept my fathers commandments and abide in His love. These things have I spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.

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The Humor of Christ

By Elton Trueblood ( Quaker )

An ephemeral (and rightly so) study of the wit and ‘humor’ of our Lord. While I acknowledge the fullness of the humanity of Christ, and his use of piercing wit (for he has perfect knowledge of the hearts of men) and irony, this study falls far short of reasonable analysis, and into the pit of fancy. Trueblood relies heavily on quotes by predecessors such as Chesterton and contemporary writers of his time, while he’s emphasizing what he considers to be a ‘laugh out loud’ moment in the teachings of Christ, his sources seem to be in contention with his thesis.

What he brings to our attention is nothing new, and/or unrecognized in the theological community. It was plain practice for Hebrews to use sharp or extreme contrasts…

If your eye causes you to stumble, pluck it out and throw it from you It is better for you to enter life with one eye, than to have two eyes and be cast into the fiery hell. -Matt 18:9

…to vividly illustrate an important teaching. We all know, I hope, this passage is not literal, for we would all be blind, deaf and mute. What he wants, from Chapter 1, is for his readers to notice that Christ was not the ‘…mild in manner, endlessly patient, grave in speech and serious almost to the point of dourness,’ Christ caricature popular ‘Christianity’ (particulary in America) has shamefully espoused in the 20th century. I’ll raise my glass to his intent as well, and the truthfulness only if it’s expounded reasonably.

Paper Thin

I stumbled across Christopher Hitchens wrath worthy book ‘God is Not Great’ at Barnes and Noble Sunday evening. I usually avoid secular hate propaganda, but my faith has been rock solid as of late. I flipped open to a random page , to my surprise, was the topic of the mornings sermon on Mark 7:24-30:

Jesus got up and went away from there to the region of Tyre. And when He had entered a house, He wanted no one to know of it; yet He could not escape notice.
But after hearing of Him, a woman whose little daughter had an unclean spirit immediately came and fell at His feet.
Now the woman was a Gentile, of the Syrophoenician race. And she kept asking Him to cast the demon out of her daughter.
And He was saying to her, “Let the children be satisfied first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”
But she answered and said to Him, “Yes, Lord, but even the dogs under the table feed on the children’s crumbs.”
And He said to her, “Because of this answer go; the demon has gone out of your daughter.”
And going back to her home, she found the child lying on the bed, the demon having left.

What was interesting, that Christ’s ‘harsh’ initial rejection of the Syrophoenecian woman, was chalked up by Hitchens, to racism, because she was a Gentile, simple as that, cut and dry. Here we see how easy it is for secular crusaders to employ contextomy to build arguments that hold water with unbelievers. While I’d like to think so called intellectuals do ‘research’, I believe in this case research would have refuted his case.

When we look at the same account in Matthew 15, Christ had withdrawn, that is, he went to rest. As Pastor Miessler pointed out, he was constantly hounded by miracle seekers. While he IS God, in his humbled state, he was still man and needed physical restoration.

We dare not say Christ a racist, for we read in Matthew 15:24 a statement of purpose.

But He answered and said, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

Christ’s central focus to his ministry was to Israel. In fact, in John 4, prior to the feeding of the 5000, also mentioned in Mark, Christ most compassionately dialogues with the woman at the well:

You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews.
But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers.

We see here, ‘salvation is from the Jews’, yet she was a gentile and did minister to her.

It’s people Hitchens, Harris and Dawkins who are, at least on the literary front, spearheading the ‘intellectual’ attack on religion. Dawkins claims his attacks are relegated to only ‘pen and paper’ as an attempt to disguise his hatred.

We all know, Mr. Dawkins, that the pen is mightier than the sword.

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On the Character of Christ

I’m reading, among other things, John Stott’s Basic Christianity. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from this small volume, I came to find out it could very well serve as tool for evangelistic training, if not just handing out copies. I would reserve handing out copies only after personal evangelism, as it is small, but dense.

Part One: Christ’s Person – is the first third of the book, wherein lies my topic. Stott draws, if not drives a wedge between the earthly ministry of Christ and His teaching, and all other ‘great’ teachers, prophets, eastern religious figures &c. This distinction is, in the plainest terms, His self-centered teaching. It’s interesting when I first read those words, I did a double take. I knew his ministry was not the all-inclusive hippyfest some would like us to believe, but some pop-culture greeting card view of Christ floating around in my cranium reared its irreverent head. I crushed that quick, needless to say.

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