During the transfiguration of Jesus, God speaks from the cloud, “This is my beloved Son; listen to him.” Because Jesus is the the majestic King or Glory, it is utterly necessary for us to listen to His words as revealed in Scripture. The disciples saw the glory of Christ, and His divine majesty and excellence should also motivate us to heed and serve Him in humility.
Jesus ministers to the blind man at Bethsaida in a very individual way, showing his compassion and deep awareness of our needs. In a spiritual sense, we are all living in darkness, blinded by sin. Our eyes need to be opened in order to see our true selves and to see Jesus and His saving work on the cross.
When Jesus miraculously fed over 4000 people with 7 loaves and a few fish, He demonstrated deep, personal compassion. Jesus proved Himself to be the almighty Son of God and the promised Messiah. Look to Christ and His total sufficiency for whatever you face. Only Christ can abundantly satisfy and is worthy of our trust and praise.
man jealousy can be damaging and sinful, but the jealousy of God is a holy, passionate zeal to guard the exclusiveness of our relationship to Him. God is provoked to jealousy when we make any person, possession, or giftedness the first focus of our love, trust, and service. We are to worship the almighty, worthy, true God over all else.
Jesus, the Lamb of God, stands in heaven triumphant. What rewards has Jesus purchased for Himself by His sacrificial death? His reward is a holy people being sanctified more and more through the Word and the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:25-27). These people are also to be zealous for good works, not in order to achieve salvation, but as an outgrowth of salvation by grace. Finally, Jesus receives the glad, reverent adoration of eternal worshippers (Revelation 5:9-10). When the dust of history settles, the Lamb wins!
Jesus heals a deaf and mute man in Mark 7:31-37. Jesus moves the man out of the crowd and interacts with him, demonstrating His compassion and healing power and affirming the man’s worth and individuality. In a similar way, Christ entered into the world of humanity to reveal Himself to us and save us from our sin so that we might have a personal relationship with Him.
In Mark 7:24-30 Jesus speaks with a Gentile woman who sought healing for her daughter. At first glance, the response of Jesus may be surprising and confusing, but in reality Jesus is not rejecting or deriding her. Jesus affirms her faith and promises healing for her child. God's blessings promised to Abraham were given first to the Jews but included all people on Earth. We, too, are the recipients of God's generous grace, mercy, and blessing.
The Cross Benediction (Revelation 1:5b-6) reminds us that Christ’s love for us has been demonstrated by His death on the cross. Christ’s redemption saves us from the penalty and power of sin now and from the presence of sin in eternity. We are now part of His kingdom, the sovereign rule of Christ in our hearts and lives. We are to gratefully serve as priests, making Him known to others.
In 2 Thessalonians 3:16, the apostle Paul pronounces a benediction of peace. The Lord Jesus is our source of peace, reconciling us to God (Isaiah 53:5). His peace is sufficient because He is sovereign, and His peace is certain because He is always with us (Philippians 4:17 and 2 Timothy 4:17). Our messiah is Emmanuel, God with us, the prince of peace.
Biblical hope is not wishful thinking. It is a confident expectation based on the promises of God. Paul's benediction of hope in Romans 15:13 reminds us that God is our source and continuing supplier of hope. He is able to fill us with joy and peace, even in difficult times, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Our role is to place our belief and trust in God.
In Ephesians 1:17-18 Paul continues his prayer for believers by asking God to give them knowledge of the "riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints." The meaning of this is twofold: 1) We are God's beloved and valued inheritance (Malachi 3:16-17). 2) God bestows upon us the inheritance of Himself and of His many promises (Matthew 25:34, John 14:1-3, and other verses). Let Paul's prayer shape our prayers, and let it reorient our lives to serve Him in joy and holiness.
Let us be a church on mission together for the glory of God, present together in spirit while physically separated. A church on mission prays and provides care and encouragement. It edifies and exhorts one another to practice integrity even while alone.
We are as safe as God is powerful. Paul's prayer (Ephesians 1:18-23) echoes the promises given in 1Peter 1:3-5. Our living hope and our inheritance in the saints are secure through the immeasurable, great power of God.
Our greatest need and privilege is to know God (Jeremiah 9:23-24). Paul prays for the believers, asking the Father of glory to give them the Spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God. This knowledge is more than knowing facts or even understanding deep doctrinal truths. It is a relationship with the true, living God, growing in close fellowship with Him as the Holy Spirit gives us insight through the Scriptures.
On the day of Pentecost all the gathered believers are filled with the Holy Spirit and empowered for bold proclamation of the good new of Jesus. Boldness is not rudeness. It is courage mixed with compassion. Let us obey the directive of Christ in Luke 11:13 to ask the Father for the Holy Spirit.