Jewish people, sent but not forgotten.

God’s original people were the Jews. God’s original intention was for the Jews to go into the world and tell others about him. To the twelve disciples Jesus says in Matthew 10:5, 6 – …”Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.” Paul, on his journeys, preached first to the Jews, then to the Gentiles.

Romans 9:29 with Paul speaking to the Jewish people states, “It is just as Isaiah said previously: Unless the Lord Almighty had left us descendants, we would have become like Sodom, we would have been like Gomorrah.” Romans 9:27 says, “Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved.” Romans 10:3, 4 explain this, “Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.” Verse 3 is clear, the Jews thought that by their works they would be able to obtain righteousness. But just as the Gentiles must know if they are ever to understand Christ, it is that their righteousness is not from anything we can do, for that is considered ‘a work.’ Salvation is not from anyone’s work but Jesus Christ’s. We as mere human beings cannot do a single thing to satisfy the requirement God needed to bring us into a right relationship with him. For none of us ever are good enough to bridge that gap on our own. God required a holy and righteous sacrifice. One perfect in his eyes that would be able to take on all the sins of the world. One that could not be fully human only for none are righteous in his eyes. So Jesus Christ came fully human but also fully divine, without a spot of sin or wrinkle.

A shedding of blood is required to cover and atone for sins. Hebrews 9:22 states, “In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness.” It goes on in Hebrews 9:26, “Then Christ would have had to suffer many times since the creation of the world. But now he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to do away with sin by the sacrifice of himself. Jesus Christ was and is the great sacrifice, coming once for all, Jew and Gentile alike. His death on the cross and his resurrection three days later made a way for us to be able to enter by God’s grace into his presence. That is why in John 19:30 Jesus says, …”It is finished.” It is over and paid in full for the forgiveness of the people’s sins. Jesus’s love for us was sacrificial and perfect, done for you, done for me. Jesus is the bridge that fills the gap between us and God, the Father. Jesus rising three days later proving to us that there is life after death and that we will one day, rise to meet him and live eternally with him if we are born again (saved). It is only by grace we are saved. Romans 9:16 says, “It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.” It is a gift offered freely for any who desire to accept by faith the good news of what Jesus has done. Do you desire with all your heart to repent of all your sins, desiring to change your ways, and come to Jesus asking for his forgiveness? Do you desire a ‘new life’ in him? Come as you are and accept the free gift Jesus has for you.

Romans 11:25-27 states, “I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: The deliverer will come from Zion; he will turn godlessness away from Jacob. And this is my covenant with them when I take away their sins.” Israel will finally recognize Jesus as their Messiah. Ezekiel 11:17 says, “Therefore say: This is what the Sovereign LORD says: I will gather you from the nations and bring you back from the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you back the land of Israel again.”

John 14:6 states, “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well…”

What is your role as a Jewish person in this ‘Age of the Gentiles?’ Are you meant to be reading this? Is there a purpose specifically designed for you by God? I believe you are meant to read this and yes, there is a purpose God has made you for. Even in Romans 1:16 it states, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.”

Whether you are a Jew or a Gentile, Jesus is coming back one day!

Israel’s Unbelief.

The Jews expected Jesus to be a different sort of king. Because of this many don’t believe who Jesus Christ truly is. They fail to take a good look at Jesus Christ himself and see his reasoning for why he did what he did and they have kept their eyes on themselves. Israel lost their total dependence on God that it had had before. We all need to keep our eyes on Jesus Christ and his word to decipher what he is thinking and telling us. Over 300 prophecies told the Jewish people about their Messiah and some of those stated that he also would be persecuted and killed. Paul writes in Romans 9:4-5, …”the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised! Amen.” Their heritage was the most blessed of any in the world.

To have been chosen to just be in the Jewish lineage… I would have been ecstatic!

Let’s look quickly at just a few of those 300+ prophecies that have verses corresponding  both from the old and new testaments. The Messiah rejected by own people: Psalm 69:8 & John 1:11. The Messiah silent before his accusers: Isaiah 53:7 & Mark 15:4-5. The Messiah buried with the rich: Isaiah 53:9 & Matthew 27:57-60. The Messiah resurrected from the dead: Psalm 16:10 & Matthew 28:2-7; also Psalm 49:15 & Acts 2:22-32. The Messiah would be a sacrifice for sin: Isaiah 53:5-12 & Romans 5:6-8.

In Isaiah 41:14 the LORD refers to himself as ‘your Redeemer.’ Redeemer means rescuer. How could this be possible if what Jesus did stopped at the cross?! Part of Jeremiah 31:31-34 states, “The time is coming,” declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant… “It will not be like the covenant I made with their forefathers…” “This is the covenant I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. This can only happen by the power of the God and from his free gift of grace to you. It comes to us only through accepting Jesus Christ by faith and who the bible says he is. Humbly and truthfully recognizing of all our sins and true repentance, the cross, and Jesus’s death and resurrection are included. This is a new covenant that is made with Israel and with all mankind.

Matthew 5:17-20 talks of how Jesus didn’t come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; but to fulfill them. Verse 20, “For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.” And how can this be done? Only through Jesus Christ and his righteousness. It cannot be from ourselves, good works of any kind, or anything we do that gets us into heaven because why would Jesus had to of died on the cross for us then? Here again we see God’s words pointing only to Jesus Christ, the savior of the world. We must keep our eyes on him and his word if we are to understand. The Pharisees were studious in the Law, and pious on the outside. They believed strict obedience to the Law would get you into heaven. But their hearts were far from God and his kingdom. The Pharisees allegiances were on themselves. God wants our dependence on him, not ourselves. As Jews and Gentiles we can’t do anything to make ourselves right with God. And there is only one way.

Romans 9:30-32 talks of how the Jews pursued a law of righteousness (being right with God) and were not able to attain it, but how the Gentiles obtained righteousness because of their faith. It states how the Jews thought they’d be able to attain it for themselves by their works. Again, why would we need Jesus Christ if we could get to heaven by something we ourselves could do? Romans chapter 11 talks of the remnant of Israel. Verses 5-7 states, “So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace. What then? What Israel sought so earnestly it did not obtain, but the elect did. The others were hardened,…”

Galatians 3:23-25 says, “Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law.” Galatians 3:29 states, “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

Jesus Christ is the new covenant. Given to us as a free gift from God the Father above. He is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. By faith you can receive him if you want to be born again from above. Repent and trust in him.

You will know if you have truly received Jesus Christ as your savior as he gives you the Holy Spirit to guide you in this new life. You will have a new purpose along with new eyes to see, new ears to hear, and a deep faith that pleases God! Praise Jesus! Also important, continue in God’s holy word. His word is true life. Praise God!

Whether you are a Jew or a Gentile, Jesus Christ is coming back one day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A relationship with a King?!

The King of the universe. Unfettered, principled, and an ‘unable to be pinned down’ type of person. His ways are unchanging and they leave no room for error. For he is perfect, holy, majestic, and all-encompassing.

Would you want to listen to a King? He is the one in authority who knows best and does things that are right for his kingdom. He is like an everlasting vessel and never being able to exhaust him of his depth, wisdom, and knowledge. He knows how to steer the world! His faith, loyalty, and righteousness are perfect. And if he is perfect you know he has to be a God of love! And he has great motivation. Motivation to save the world from the enemy. Wow, what a King!

The King’s beauty is like the best masterpiece imagined, but then surpassing it! It is like having that perfect world you’ve always dreamed of HERE right now, because you have this relationship with a heavenly King and father, who through a relationship with you (and vice versa), keeps you learning and growing and becoming more like him! He pulls heaven down in a sense to you through this continuing relationship that continues to change, twist, and shape you into someone more and more Christlike as the years go by. You become more and more like this pure, heavenly masterpiece full of beauty, love, and truth.

Who wouldn’t want to listen to a King, of all people, who does these things for you? I can’t ever imagine and nor will I believe that there will EVER be any other king who rules the world and is interested in me at the same time!

This King wants to help keep people safe from harm, keep them nourished and fed, and teach them about his kingdom. Teach them about his kingdom and how to stay safe until he comes back to literally show the world HE comes. Revelation 22:20 states, “He who testifies to these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.” He is coming to get the record straight for all people everywhere. And the enemy is powerless before God.

Jesus, the King, wants us to know that he is warning us to remain watchful for his return and how you should be ready for it. Again he wants to keep people safe from harm, hence why he has gotten The Word into our hands. Listen to the words in Matthew 24:38-41, “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. Two men will be in the field; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding with a hand mill; one will be taken and the other left.” To those people who denied Him in their own hearts that He had always been the King it will be a tragic scene telling of their wasted time, defiance, and pride. They will not get to be one of his chosen subjects since they had chances. “In the King we trust!” shout the others who by childlike faith trust in Jesus, Lord and King.

Kings can be merciful  or unforgiving. Some are ruthless and can chop heads off. They can be selfish and think only of themselves and what they want from this world. Their hearts are as hard as stone. They think and believe their minds are the sharpest. I’m so thankful and glad that the real King and ruler of this world is not of that type. The real King of this world is one of mercy, one who cares very much for justice, and one of second chances (forgiveness). I shudder to think who wants to listen to a ruthless, uncaring King? Isaiah 30:18 says… “For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!”

What person gets to see the King let alone speak to the King? How likely would a King take the time personally for you? At the very least you’d need an appointment far ahead and even when granted how much time would you get? If it’s like a lot of doctor’s offices you’d feel like it’s all an unsatisfying and hurried process. And most importantly did you get down to the truth or the right answer?

There is a King that has time, truth, and any answer you could ever want to know. Again it is in The Word if you desire to know. I hope and pray you will have access to one and read it. His word will be a light unto your feet.

Now what King treats you like you want to be treated? Who pursues you because he’s that interested in you? Who loves you unconditionally so you can approach him as a little child would with all your concerns, stresses, and hurts? Matthew 11:30 states, “For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” You can approach him as a child open to an all-knowing father. The bible teaches us the Lord’s prayer, “Our father, who art in heaven…” This King tells us that he is our father and wants to be treated as one. Approach him in every sense that a father should be; hearing you, listening to you, being patient with great love for you as you bear all to him. You can with full honesty of heart tell him all of your sins, be seriously repentant, and ask him for his forgiveness. The cross of Jesus Christ is a gift of great love he gave you because that is how much he thought of you. Jesus took our sins upon the cross and died for us. He did this so we might have eternal life with him one day. He is the bridge that fills the gap between God and man.

1Tim. 6:15 calls Jesus the “King of kings and Lord of lords.”Some of the other names Jesus is addressed by in The Word are The Truth, The Alpha and The Omega, The Light of the World, The Word, Deliverer, Mediator, Head of the Church, and Everlasting Father.

We are in this story that is currently being played out. Those who have lived in the past have already had their part played out. Our life plays a significant, definite, and all-encompassing part. This King, who is not of this world will one day come back and make this world whole again as it should be. You see the world leaders left in charge of this world have tried but failed. Some have failed miserably. Rulers who were ‘allowed’ to run their own countries have not succeeded because they have been far away from the one true King, the King who knows all and is all. Revelation 1:8 states, “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.”

Our story is told in one place only, the bible. The story is a continuing one that started with the creation of the world recorded in Genesis and is continuing with each of us playing our part until our time here is done. Go there and see for yourself the significance you play and can play! And to read and find out what our true King has done and will do!

In Revelation 19 it talks about the rider on the white horse who is Jesus coming and verse 16 states, “On his robe and on his thigh he has this name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.”

I pray he guide your heart and mind by his word today. Amen!

Please feel free to ask me any questions you may have and I will be happy to help you.

Whether you are a Jew or a Gentile, Jesus is coming back one day!

 

 

Why the bible is basic to life.

Sometimes I wonder where people get their ideas. What do they build upon to understand their own world?

I would like to start this dialogue with a plea to the people out there. Please, do not take other people’s reasoning verbatim! How do you know they are right about which they speak? You must learn to think for yourself or you will continually find yourself on the yellow brick road ending up at someone else’s version of the truth.

I can remember when I was quite young, maybe 6th grade or so, paging through our family bible and I came upon 1 Tim. 2:5 which says, “For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, …” Wow I thought! I don’t have to go to the priest and tell him my private and personal sins! I was so happy; I had always felt dislike for such a rule. I asked my mother about it and she didn’t have an answer for me. Wow, my mother didn’t know?! I grew up Catholic and I had naturally assumed my mother would know the answer. And at other times when we would discuss religious topics, she would usually say something close to “this is what the Catholic Church believes about that…” I wondered did other Catholics believe the Catholic Church was gospel on what it told too? And did God say those things in his word?

What is our measuring stick for real truth?

Fast forward a few years to a young adult in her mid-twenties. I had become a born again Christian. I had an insatiable appetite for God’s word. It told me who God was and who I was. It showed me that unless my foundation is built upon God, my foundation was like shifting sand, moving to and fro, always changing, never steady, and could send me toppling to the ground. Sand is unpredictable, hard to plan around, unmanageable,  and difficult to deal with. How can you build a marriage, a family, or have any decent relationships like that? Who needs that if you’re trying to get somewhere?

Our thoughts and emotions can be unstable vessels unless anchored in God. I now depend on Christ and not my thoughts or emotions anymore. My emotions have led me down more side roads than I ever wanted to be on. Emotions and my thoughts, I have found out, are not to be trusted. They can be like wild, unpredictable, untrustworthy waves at times. Instead I weigh any thoughts and/or emotions against Christ’s word, then I know if I should do something or not.

And the older I get, the more sereneness I like in my life. I like steady, true, reliable, and unchanging rules that help guide me. Christ is my center and I depend on him, not myself, for I have learned to trust God more than I trust myself. I need someone more knowledgeable and stronger than I to guide me in to port.

That is why God’s Word is so good. It sets my feet on solid ground, it teaches me, it gives me peace in the storm, and peace for my life. God’s word is life to us. In John 6:68 Peter says to the Lord, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” It guides and can show you the way. Hebrews 4:12-13 states, “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight.”

The Bible was given to us, first to the Jews and then to the Gentiles, to use and to cherish, to be a light unto our feet. Psalm 119:105 says, “Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” Isn’t that a lovely thought? God being there for us, holding a light out there for you to be able to find your way in the dark. What love! And what caring! The closer you stay to him, the closer he’ll stay to you too. And he’ll help if you ask.

What will be your measuring stick for real truth? How about one that is filled with truth and love, unchanging, trustworthy, and will never pass away? Matthew 24:35 says, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” How about one who knows the number of hairs on your head? Luke 12:7 states, “Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”

Whether you are a Jew or a Gentile, Jesus is coming back one day!

 

Israel and it’s past, present, and future.

The Jews are God’s chosen people. Genesis only gives the genealogy of Seth (Adam and Eve’s third son), with all of the other descendants of Adam and Eve being ignored. From Seth down to Noah, and through his son Shem, to Abraham, the twelve sons of Jacob, all the kings of Judah, and David, when we come finally to Jesus Christ, the world’s Messiah. God chose the Jewish race and nation for Jesus, the Anointed One, to be born into. 1 Kings 8:53 states, “For you singled them out from all the nations of the world to be your own inheritance…” Israel was to be a nation of priests, prophets, and missionaries to the Gentiles. Israel was to be the nation who pointed towards God and the world’s Messiah.

Isaiah 53 clearly prophesies about the Messiah suffering. Isaiah 53:10-12 says, “Yet it was the LORD’S will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the LORD makes his life a guilt offering, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the LORD will prosper in his hand. After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life and be satisfied; by his knowledge my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities. Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” The Jews instead of thinking of how Jesus would suffer, only loose themselves in how soon ‘the Anointed One’ would bring them victory. Wasn’t he their prophesied king, one who was to set up his kingdom and rule? This of course didn’t happen. So when Jesus Christ dies on the cross, they reject him. So Israel’s heart is hardened; but surprisingly and ultimately this actually ends up leading to a way for both Jews and Gentiles to be able to get to know God. Paul states in Romans 11:25, “I do not want you to be ignorant of this mystery, brothers, so that you may not be conceited: Israel has experienced a hardening in part until the full number of the Gentiles has come in.” So this was actually in God’s plan, to have Jesus crucified, being made a ransom for all.

Romans 9:23-24 says, “…whom he prepared in advance for glory — even us, whom he also called, not only from the Jews but also from the Gentiles?” Romans 9:27 states, “Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: Though the number of the Israelites be like the sand by the sea, only the remnant will be saved.” Romans 9:30-33 says, “What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the “stumbling stone.” As it is written: “See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” Paul goes on in Romans 10:1-4, “Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.” Romans 11:1-6 states, “I ask them: Did God reject his people? By no means! I am an Israelite myself, a descendant of Abraham, from the tribe of Benjamin. God did not reject his people, whom he foreknew. Don’t you know what the Scripture says in the passage about Elijah — how he appealed to God against Israel: Lord, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars; I am the only one left, and they are trying to kill me? And what was God’s answer to him? “I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.” After this Jesus teaches about the vine and the branches: the tree’s natural but broken branches (Jewish) and the wild olive shoots (Gentiles); that share from the olive root (Jesus), the nourishing sap needed to grow healthy and stay strong. John 15:1-2 states, “I am the vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” Jesus is the living vine today for all who want to come to him. We can bear no fruit, or be Christ-like, without knowing Jesus. For he alone is the way, the truth, and the life.

God calls us all, Jews and Gentiles alike. That was the point of him going through all he did, constructing the story for all of us how he did. Dying, as the Passover Lamb did, being the true ‘Lamb of God’ who took away then and takes away now and in the future all the sins of the world. What a gift! What a mystery, what a love, what holiness, what grace, and what a gift to give! He offers it to any who, in sincerity, will come repenting of (turning from) their sins to him, confessing to him, and asking for his forgiveness.

Israel will be restored one day. Isaiah 11:11 says, “In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to reclaim the remnant that is left of his people from…” Praise God!

Whether you are a Jew or a Gentile, Jesus is coming back one day!