Articles/Illustrations of Faith, Quotes, poetry and devotions…
Smokey Barn News
Sunday December 7, 2014
Robertson County, Tenn.
“The Sunday Post” is a non denominational column comprised of articles of Faith, poetry and devotions…
God Gave Himself
(John 3:16) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
It is singularly appropriate that we look at this greatest of all verses this Christmas season, for it records the greatest of all gifts. The theme of giving is very prominent in the Bible, with such words as “give,” “gift,” “gave,” etc., occurring more than 2,100 times. The first is Genesis 1:17 when God created the sun, moon, and stars “to give light upon the earth,” and the last is Revelation 22:12 when Christ will return with His rewards to “give every man according as his work shall be.” “He…gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons,” as well as “life, and breath, and all things” (Acts 14:17; 17:25).
But the greatest gift, clearly, was when God gave Himself for a lost and undeserving world. It was the greatest gift because it met the greatest need, revealed the greatest love, and had the greatest scope and greatest purpose of any gift that could ever be conceived in the heart of an omniscient Creator.
That was not the end of His giving, of course. “He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?” (Romans 8:32). “Trust…in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy” (I Timothy 6:17).
This great gift of God is abundantly sufficient to provide salvation and everlasting life for the whole world. But a gift only becomes a gift when it is accepted, and the greatest of all tragedies is that this greatest of all gifts has been spurned and even ridiculed, or—worst of all—simply ignored by multitudes who need it so greatly. Sadly, when they refuse God’s free gift of everlasting life, they can only perish in everlasting death. God did all He could do when He gave His Son; for when He gave His Son, He gave Himself.
– Dr. Henry M. Morris (1918-2006) was Founder of the Institute for Creation Research
Jesus In Every book of the Bible
In Luke 24:27 Jesus reveals to two of his disciples that all Scripture is about him and then proceeds to show them from the books of Moses and the prophets (the Old Testament).
In Hebrews 1:1-2 the voice of Scripture is expanded to include the New Testament (which speaks of all that Jesus said, did and continued to do through the mission of the Church). All Scripture really is about Jesus. Here’s a quick overview of how you can find Jesus in every book of the Bible…
- Genesis: He’s the Serpent Crusher
- Exodus: He’s the Passover Lamb
- Leviticus: He’s our High Priest
- Numbers: He’s the Pillar of fire by night and a Shining Cloud by day
- Deuteronomy: He’s the Prophet greater than Moses
- Joshua: He’s the Captain of our salvation
- Judges: He’s our Saving Judge
- Ruth: He’s our Kinsman Redeemer
- 1 & 2 Samuel: He’s our Forever King
- 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles: He’s our Perfect King
- Ezra-Nehemiah: He’s the Rebuilder who reverses the devastation of sinfulness
- Esther: He’s our Guardian like Mordecai
- Job: He’s our ever-living Redeemer
- Psalms: He’s our Shepherd-King
- Proverbs: He’s our Comprehensible Wisdom in life
- Ecclesiastes: He’s our Incomprehensible Wisdom in faith
- Song of Songs: He’s our Loving Bridegroom
- Isaiah: He’s the Suffering Servant
- Jeremiah: He’s the Righteous Descendant (branch) who restores God’s people
- Lamentations: He’s our Weeping Prophet
- Ezekiel: He’s the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the Lord
- Daniel: He’s the one like a son of man, the fourth person in the fiery furnace
- Hosea: He’s the Faithful Husband who pursues his unfaithful wife
- Joel: He’s the one who pours out his Holy Spirit in power
- Amos: He’s the one who will come on the Day of the Lord
- Obadiah: He’s the Savior on Mount Zion
- Jonah: He’s our Foreign Missionary who dwelt for three days in the grave
- Micah: He’s the Ruler who comes out of Bethlehem Ephrathah
- Nahum: He’s the Avenger of God’s elect
- Habakkuk: He’s the Righteous One in whom we live by faith
- Zephaniah: He’s the Mighty One who will save
- Haggai: He’s the Restorer of God’s House
- Zechariah: He’s the Fountain that cleanses us from sin and impurity
- Malachi: He’s the Sun of Righteousness rising with healing in his wings
- Matthew: He’s the King of the Jews
- Mark: He’s the Servant Son of God
- Luke: He’s the Son of Man came to seek and save the lost
- John: He’s the Word of God
- Acts: He’s the only Name under heaven given to men by which we can be saved
- Romans: He’s the Righteousness of God
- 1 Corinthians: He’s the one who gives us victory over death
- 2 Corinthians: He’s the one who reconciles us to God
- Galatians: He’s our Freedom
- Ephesians: He’s the Head of the Church
- Philippians: He’s our Joy
- Colossians: He’s the Fullness of God
- 1 & 2 Thessalonians: He’s the one we wait for in hope
- 1 & 2 Timothy: He’s the one that we preach and serve
- Titus: He’s the Truth of sound doctrine
- Philemon: He’s our Advocate before God
- Hebrews: He’s the Author and Finisher of our faith
- James: He’s the Work of our faith seen in our lives
- 1 Peter: He’s the one who died for sin once for all
- 2 Peter: He’s our Life and Godliness
- 1 John: He’s how we know God’s love
- 2 John: He’s our Example to follow
- 3 John: He’s our Pattern to imitate
- Jude: He’s the Source of our salvation
- Revelation: He’s the first and last, the living one, the lamb who was slain – the coming forever King of God’s people, the Alpha and the Omega and every letter in between…
A Tale of Two Books
This is the book of the generations of Adam. In the day that God created man, in the likeness of God made he him; (Genesis 5:1) The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham. (Matthew 1:1)
Here are two books. The first book, the book of the generations of Adam, is a book of death. How did we get in that book anyway? All we had to do was to be born in a sinful and fallen state. Every man, woman, and child that comes into the world has his name recorded in Adam’s book. We are his offspring. He is our federal head, and he is our oldest ancestor. Sin passed upon all men through the blood of Adam and the universality of death testifies to the undiluted sentence brought about by sin. “As in Adam all die.” Every cemetery we see is a testimony to the work of sin.
The universality of death testifies to the fact that we are all of one race? Death did not just fall upon this race or that race, it fell upon us all. Racisms should not exist because we are all in the same boat. St. Luke stated the case plainly in Acts 17:26 for those who still believe we are different because we are not all the same color. (Acts 17:26 And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;) One blood tells us that we are all descended from Adam. As the old hymnist puts it we are all part of “Adam’s poor helpless race.”
It is important to understand how Adam died when he ate of that forbidden fruit so long ago. God said you will surely die, but Adam went on to live 930 years. (Gen. 5:5) But the instant Adam sinned he died spiritually. The connection with the Giver of Life was broken, and Adam could no longer always choose good over evil. Like many of us today he didn’t look dead and he didn’t smell dead, but he was dead just the same. When we see a fresh cut rose in a vase of water is it alive or dead? Without question it is dead because it’s cut off from its root and source of life. If you don’t think its dead, just wait a few days and watch it wither, wilt, and fall to pieces.
People are like that. They may smell good. They may look well, but apart from a relationship with Jesus Christ, the Source of all life, they will soon grow old and return unto dust without any hope of redemption. The Bible says that they go to a second death that is even more horrible than the first. (Rev. 21:8) After Adam died spiritually he then died intellectually. His thought processes began to darken and his choice between good and evil was no longer an easy one. Finally, after 930 years he died physically. Just one sin wrecked the human race spiritually, mentally, and physically and it is still being passed along to the descendants of Adam, namely, you and me and our children. However, there is good news, the story does not end there.
God had a rescue plan already in place. He came down from Heaven in the Person of Jesus Christ and took the punishment and the Hell that Adam’s poor, hapless, race is due for its sins. Jesus Christ died and suffered for every man, woman, and child who would ever live. He is infinitely God and had the capacity to suffer infinitely. Man may only come to God through Jesus Christ. There is no other way. You cannot come by any denomination or religion. But what about the folks who lived and died before Jesus went to the cross?
All the Old Testament saints were saved on credit. They were saved looking forward to the cross. Today we are saved (rescued) looking back to Cross and the finished work of Christ. (Debit) The process of redemption is in the reverse order of how man lost it in the first place in the Garden of Eden. Adam’s fall and our fall are overturned at salvation when we put our trust in Christ.
- We are spiritually re-connected to God and given His Holy Spirit to indwell us.
- Our thought processes begin to clear up as we study the Bible and submit to God’s will and pray.
- Lastly God has promised to redeem our bodies and transform them into glorified and perfected bodies, never to see death or pain again.
Then we are indeed made new creatures in Christ and old things are passed away.
But how do we get this salvation? How do we get out of Adam’s Book and into the Book of Jesus Christ? Simple! We were once born physically and that landed us in Adam’s book, and we must be born a second time by faith to have our name placed in the Book of Jesus Christ. Well how do we do that?
We are born again as a direct result of trusting the Son of God. You are born again by coming to Him in faith believing that He is, and that he died for your sins. You are born again when you trust Him exclusively to save you. You are born again when you confess Him before men and in turn He has promised to confess you before His Father in Heaven. We don’t work to be saved, but we work because we are saved.
You may be the vilest sinner who ever walked the face of the earth, and if you are, Christ is deeply interested in you. You are the very kind of person that interests Him most. He stands ready to save you for His sake, for your sake, and for His kingdom. You are the very one that He came and died for. He had your name personally on His mind as He hung on the cross of Calvary. Reader, He died for you!, you are the reason He went to the cross and suffered and died.
He had you specifically on His mind as He hung on the cross. And when the resurrection comes He will call each of us by our names and our bodies shall rise from the dust and be reunited with our spirit to be with Him forever. In Adam all die, but in Christ all are made alive. Any and all that come to Him on His terms seeking salvation and eternal life are never turned away.
John 6:37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
If you’ve ever been saved you have been different ever since. So many folks in our churches have never really experienced a genuine change. An old time preacher once offered a good test to see if you are really saved. He said: “If you is what you was, you ain’t!” Many today are still what they have always been.
By the way, it is helpful if we realize that we do not have a soul. Rather we are a soul and have a body. There is a big difference. Our body is the possession of the soul. It is just the house we live in for a time and then we move out for repairs. In Christ we will be given a new and glorified body that shall never die.
Gen. 2:7 And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.
Philippians 3:21 – Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.
-Pastor Brown Sims
God would have sent us an educator;
If our greatest need had been technology,
God would have sent us a scientist; If our greatest need had been money,
God would have sent us an economist;
If our greatest need had been pleasure, God would have sent us an entertainer;
But our greatest need was forgiveness, so God sent us a Savior.
– Source Unknown
“The eyes of the Lord are in every place” (Prov. 15:3), and nothing escapes His attention, including you and me. God understands and values the finest points of our being. Jesus said, “The very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matt. 10:30).
It’s amazing that God keeps a tally of our personal trivia and is even aware of a bird’s misfortune. Since He knows about these small details, we can trust that He sees and cares about the big issues that ruffle our feathers. When we ask Him for help, God’s response is always informed by His perfect knowledge of us and our circumstances. Let’s trust Him with our anxious concerns.
If God sees the sparrow’s fall,
Paints the lilies short and tall,
Gives the skies their azure hue,
Will He not then care for you? —Anon.
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.