It is Still About Faith

12-7-16
Wednesday
 
 
Habakkuk 2:2-3
2 And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. 3
For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end–it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.
 
 
Expressed in the vernacular of our times; Write My message so simply (that no special skills are needed) that even a passerby can read and understand (remember) it without having to stop. And possibly exposing themselves or putting their loved ones in danger to receive this priceless kingdom knowledge.
 
 
The promise of the Messiah is the oldest promise in the Bible. He is described as the seed of woman in Genesis chapter 3 after the fall of man. He is the promised seed of Abraham in Genesis 17. And in Habakkuk chapter 2 the author tells us it has been a long time but it will come to pass. And then came silence.
 
 
The silence of the prophets from Malachi to John the Baptist was 400 years. But John proclaimed the living Lamb of God was walking among them.
 
 
I can’t imagine the excitement of a prophecy like that being fulfilled in their lifetime, but judging by the thousands of people who came out to hear John and to be baptized by him it must have been overwhelming. People who had waited their whole lives to see the messiah, generations of people who read and waited for the promise to be fulfilled suddenly there he was. Jesus of Nazareth.
 
 
Today we are on the other side of that promise. It has been 2000 years since Jesus died on that Roman cross but the sacrifice for sin that God promised is still as effective as it was in Genesis chapter 3. By faith Adam and Eve believed God’s promise of the coming savior and their sins were forgiven. By faith Abraham believed God and it was accounted unto him for righteousness. It has always been about faith.
 
 
By faith we believe that Jesus died on that cross for our sins. We look back in faith the way that generations of people looked forward to the coming messiah. Every generation has a moment to hear the promise revealed and to have an opportunity to respond. This is our generation and this is our moment.
 
 
Prayer: Thank you for the promise and for Jesus who fulfills every promise.


Perfect Timing

12-6-16
Tuesday
 
 
 
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
1For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2 a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 3 a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;5 a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6 a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7 a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.
 
 
Why is being on time so challenging for some of us? Even when we start early, something inevitably gets in our way to make us late.
 
 
But here’s the good news: God is always on time! Speaking of the arrival of Jesus, Paul said, “When the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son” – Gal. 4:4
 
The long-awaited, promised Savior came at just the right time.
 
 
Jesus’ arrival during the Roman Empire’s Pax Romana (the peace of Rome) was perfect timing. The known world was united by one language of commerce. A network of global trade routes provided open access to the whole world. All of this guaranteed that the gospel could move rapidly in one tongue. No visas. No impenetrable borders. Only unhindered access to help spread the news of the Savior whose crucifixion fulfilled the prophecy of the Lamb who would be slain for our sins found in Isiah 53:1-12
 
All in God’s perfect timing!
 
 
All of this should remind us that the Lord knows what time is best for us as well. If you’re waiting for answered prayer or the fulfillment of one of His promises, don’t give up. If you think He has forgotten you, think again. When the fullness of time is right for you, He’ll show up—and you’ll be amazed by His brilliant timing.
 
 
Prayer: Thank you for your perfect timing.


We have a Moment

12-5-16
Monday
 
 
 
We started a new series that will take us to Christmas Day. The Miracle of Christmas is about more than presents and holiday wrapping paper. It’s about God’s plan for the redemption of mankind.
 
This week we are looking at the Miracle of the moment.
 
 
Romans 5:6
6 For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly.
 
 
There was an appointed moment for Christ to be born and an appointed moment for Christ to die. It was not an arbitrary date nor was it not a date selected by the circumstances of the day. It was a date set by God before the annuals of time began. Before the foundation of the world Christ became the lamb slain.
 
 
God, who works all things after the counsel of his will, determined the time and place for both. And he set in motion the historical events surrounding these two occasions so that his will would be done in space and time. The birth of Jesus and the crucifixion of Jesus are documented historical events that can be understood by our cognitive thinking and believed by our determinate will.
 
 
We too have been given a starting time and an expiration date. We know the starting date but we don’t yet know the ending date, but both are determined by God. And between the two dates on a gravestone is a dash. We live in the dash, and what we do with the time we have and what we choose to believe about Jesus Christ determines our eternal future.
 
God gives us a moment in time. Solomon tells us our life is a vapor. James, the brother of Jesus says the same thing, like a vapor that appears for a moment and then it is gone. Our seniors at the assisted living facility will tell you it’s like the blink of an eye. Yesterday I was young and now I am old. Life is short.
 
 
But we have a moment. A moment to hear the story of a savior being born. A moment to understand the significance of Jesus dying on a cross for you. A moment to believe.
 
 
And a moment can change your life forever. In a moment you can become a child of God and become adopted into the family of God. In a moment of faith, belief in the only begotten Son of God who died on a cross and paid the debt we owed God for our sin. In a moment our eternal destiny can be changed from hell to heaven.
 
 
This is the moment God gives us. What will you do with your moment?
 
 
Prayer: Thank you for sending Jesus to die for me. Thank you for giving me eternal life the moment I believed in Jesus as my own savior.



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