“No one particularly enjoys being sick, injured, weak, etc. But, if I can see it through the eyes of God, that He is growing my character into the image of His Son, Jesus, that He is using circumstances to bring glory to His name and to further His kingdom — then I can give thanks and rejoice.”
Quoted from a letter from David Coffield, postmarked Dec 10th, 22.
As you read a chapter of Proverbs each day identify that wisdom is Jesus and Jesus is wisdom.
“To those who are the called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God (1 Cor 1:24, NASB95)”
“Christ is called ‘the wisdom of God.’ If we are taught in the Scripture that Christ is the same with God’s wisdom or knowledge, then it teaches us that He is the same with God’s perfect and eternal idea. They are the same … and I suppose none will deny. But Christ is said to be the wisdom of God (I Cor. 1:24, Luke 11:49, compare with Matt. 23:34); and how much doth Christ speak in Proverbs under the name of Wisdom especially in the 8th chapter. (Jonathan Edwards An Unpublished Essay on the Trinity(New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1903) p. 75 ff. )”
“By His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God. (1 Cor 1:30, NASB95)”
“Jesus is all wisdom, complete in Himself, and if we desire more wisdom from the Father (James 1:5), He answers by revealing more of His Son to us. We askfor wisdom, we get Jesus. We lookfor wisdom, we see it in Jesus. We want to knowwisdom (Prov. 1:2), we must know Jesus, and none other. The wisdom from God is found in only one person— and His name is Jesus. (By Steve McCranie, accessed Dec 1st, 22: https://www.leavinglaodicea.com/jesus-is-our-wisdom/)”
Could we say the fear or reverence of God is the beginning of knowing Jesus?
When you get to know Jesus better you get to know God the Father and Holy Spirit better as well, since they are One person.
Part of a recent letter from our friend Dave Coffield.
It is difficult when so many of us have grown up in a Christian culture of either church and/or parachurch where ministry and works are stressed. We have a chaplain who tells us pretty much every time he is standing up front, that our job is to fill the empty fews. So, you feel a little guilty and overwhelmed.
I love the words of Jesus on His way with the disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane to engage in serious prayer prior to His arrest. He stops by a vineyard and grabs a grape plant and tells them that He is the True Vine and they are branches. Their job is to abide in Him. Their job is to abide in Him.
You know John 15:5, “I am the vine, 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.” The branch is not concerned about bearing fruit, it is concerned about abiding, about partaking of the rich life of the vine. It will bear fruit if it abides. It cannot not bear fruit.
There has been discussion about what “fruit” is. I like to suggest that fruit is anything that the Holy Spirit wants to produce through a person’s life as they abide in Jesus. And it is seasonal. My friend, Bill Mason, suggests from Psalm 1 that the tree bears fruit “in its season.”
My attention, my focus should be on abiding.
Anytime I am engaging with a believer I want to know how they are abiding. I don’t have concerns about bearing fruit if they are abiding. It is impossible to bear good fruit if you are not abiding. You can produce stuff. Check out the Lord’s comments in Matthew 7 when He says, “Many will say to Me on that day…” They prophesy in His name, they cast out demons in His name, and they perform miracles. Pretty cool. Except…they don’t know Him. They are not abiding in Him.
Do I dare to believe that my value to my Father resides in my relationship with Him?
“Christ is the true legacy of life; He heartily loves, tenderly calls, sincerely welcomes and gladly receives all who come to Him. No one can have too much of His preciousness, sweetness, or loveliness; all He bestows is fresh and fragrant and satisfies forevermore.”
The Bread of God
The bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world (John 6:33).
The context shows that the emancipation from Egypt, which was followed by the supply of manna forty years in the wilderness under Moses, is closely associated with this new claim. During that period of national history, four outstanding experiences are recorded. These experiences relate to the Passover lamb, the Red Sea deliverance, the uplifted serpent and the fording of Jordan. The Apostle John introduces the spiritual significance of these same four features in the opening three chapters of this Gospel. These memorable links with the past, together with Jacob’s well (John 4), and the pool at the sheep gate (John 5), furnish an illuminating background in relation to the far-reaching claim Christ made of being the Bread of God from heaven.
The secret of Israel’s sustained strength was linked with the lamb in Egypt, the power at the Red Sea, the manna in the wilderness and the old corn in Canaan. These reflect Christ in His personal holiness at the crucifixion, “a Lamb without spot,” His prevailing power in resurrection (John 2:19), His perfect humility in submission, “the Bread which came down from heaven,” and His pre-eminent honor in glorification, as the One enthroned high above all principality and power.
The third of these is the subject here, where Christ declared Himself to be the Bread of God. To draw definite attention to the fact of His own manifestation and ordained mission, He refers to the source from whence He came and the sequence of that coming. Bread, in the use we make of it, is brought to nourish those who are alive; but Christ the Bread of God imparts life eternal. John is careful to mention among the essentials of this life, birth, breath and bread, and attributes these in turn to the Triune God. The physical bread we eat is from wheat grown in the ground, from whence our bodies are derived. The calcium, silicon, iodine, iron, phosphates, etc. in an organic form are packed into the wheat in order to build up our strength. In like manner, if we are to become partakers of spiritual life and immortality we must needs eat the Bread of God, which is made up of righteousness, goodness, lovingkindness, graciousness, perfectness, holiness, and such like which result in Godlikeness.
Our Lord also claimed, “All that the Father giveth Me shall come to Me” (John 6:37). This is a sure anchorage for faith; for by our coming it is obvious we form part of the Father’s gift. The decision to do so leads to a great discovery. “Him that cometh to Me I will in no wise cast out” (John 6:37). An eternal mystery is unveiled to everyone that comes. Christ is the true legacy of life; He heartily loves, tenderly calls, sincerely welcomes and gladly receives all who come to Him. No one can have too much of His preciousness, sweetness, or loveliness; all He bestows is fresh and fragrant and satisfies forevermore.
Charles J. Rolls, The Indescribable Christ: Names and Titles of Jesus Christ: A-G (Loizeaux Brothers, 1984).
“Christ monopolizes loveliness by His heart of lowliness, He multiplies preciousness by His spirit of meekness and He magnifies graciousness by His deeds of kindness. As Bridegroom He is affectionately loving, altogether lovely and always lovable.”
The Bridegroom of the Bride
He that hath the bride is the bridegroom (John 3:29). In that bright and beautiful narrative of the book of Ruth, Boaz, the notable kinsman who played the part of restorer and nourisher, also became the beloved bridegroom (Ruth 4:15). When the storm of sorrow and the waves of dire distress which Ruth had encountered died down, a new dawn of radiant splendor broke upon her life, in that she made the soul-stirring discovery that Boaz, the mighty man of wealth, was actually her kinsman and her redeemer. The damsel found in this nobleman a stronger sympathy than she had known before, a sweeter society than she had previously experienced and a dearer relationship of remarkable renown; for Boaz, the mighty, became her very own bridegroom.
The greater reality of the New Testament is reflected in this record; for the Son of God became the Son of man, our near kinsman; so that by identity of life and integrity of love, He might redeem and raise up His Bride, the Church, to share the intimacy and immortality of an eternal union with Himself. The illustrious and illuminating portrayal in the record of Ruth supplies an index to infinite movements that find complete consummation in the marriage of the Lamb (Revelation 19:7). By virtue of Christ’s identifying Himself with human history, God wrought out His great regenerative purpose of salvation. If the celestial One had not entered into the realm of the terrestrial and overcome the infernal power of darkness, mankind would not have had any title to the heritage of light with its infinite glory and incorruptibility. The Apostle Peter presents this Bridegroom as the perfection of all preciousness, the sum-total of exquisite beauty and majesty; whose life is everlasting, whose love is everabiding and whose endowments in an unwithering inheritance are to be eternally enjoyed. Christ monopolizes loveliness by His heart of lowliness, He multiplies preciousness by His spirit of meekness and He magnifies graciousness by His deeds of kindness. As Bridegroom He is affectionately loving, altogether lovely and always lovable.
The Scriptures disclose a series of illustrious bridegrooms in whose lives are given glimpses in faintest tracery of the tenderness of this eternal Lover. Glimmers of Him are reflected in the first love of Adam for Eve, in the faithful love of Abraham for Sarah, in the fervent love of Isaac for Rebecca, in the fragrant love of Jacob for Rachel, in the fruitful love of Joseph for Asenath, in the faultless love of Boaz for Ruth, and in the fascinating love of Jonathan for David.
The majestic countenance of the heavenly Bridegroom shines as the sun in its strength, so that the mystery of beauty is manifest at its best and brightest. Through Him the divine luster of lovingkindness beams forth in all the richness of moral goodness. He discharges the highest obligations perfectly. He has always been chivalrous in conflict, valiant in victory, constant in courtesy, loyal in love, thoughtful in tenderness, kingly in kindness and gracious in gentleness. No one is able to find in Him a single trace of failure or the slightest taint of fault or forgetfulness.
How solicitous He is in His care, how steadfast in His love, how sympathetic His heart and how sensitive His Spirit in understanding! Emanuel displayed infinite affection in coming to earth to select and secure His Bride, the Church, and to present her to Himself without spot or wrinkle or any such blemish. He has designed that His Bride share with Him in joint heirship His celestial home and heritage. Little wonder that the name of this Bridegroom is adored for its unrivaled glory and that His love is admired for its unchanging fidelity.
What a thrill comes to the soul when we anticipate sharing a home with Christ beyond the hills and the horizon. A mansion beyond the mists and the mountains. A possession beyond the plains and the planets. A society beyond the stars and the sky. A dominion beyond the darkness and death. A state of bliss beyond the sun and the shadows. A titled estate beyond the trials and tribulations of time. A paradise beyond the perils and pains of the present era.
Thou glorious Bridegroom of our hearts Thy present smile a heaven imparts, O lift the veil, if veil there be, Let every saint Thy beauties see.
Charles J. Rolls, The Indescribable Christ: Names and Titles of Jesus Christ: A-G (Loizeaux Brothers, 1984).
No, for all the nations of the world are but a drop in the bucket. They are nothing more than dust on the scales. He picks up the whole earth as though it were a grain of sand. All the wood in Lebanon’s forests and all Lebanon’s animals would not be enough to make a burnt offering worthy of our God. The nations of the world are worth nothing to him. In his eyes they count for less than nothing— mere emptiness and froth.
Today Darlene took three steps forward and three steps backward and Friday night we enjoyed pizza night together and Darlene sat on the edge of the bed the entire time!
Come, click on this link Joy to the World message by Pastor Steve Morgan, and enjoy an excellent Advent message by my Pastor Steve Morgan last Sunday. He uses Isaac Watts song, Joy To The World, and Psalm 98, the Psalm Isaac used to write this song, as he encouraged us to rejoice with heaven and earth because “The Lord is come.” Especially check out the worship band present their rendition of Joy to the Earth.
Steve’s message begins around the 55 minute point into the service if you want to start their. After he shares a little the worship band comes up and presents Joy to the World and then Steve continues he message.
The Gospel is about how good God is, not how bad we are!!!
Jacob upon waking from a beautiful revelation of the LORD (Yehovah) himself talking to and confirming promises made to Abraham and Isaac, that now promise to him also, Jacob says, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it. (Gen 18:16)”
I am amazed and encouraged by this observation. Amazed at how wonderful God is and encouraged because he revealed to Jacob that in fact, he was in that place. I don’t know why the grandson of Abraham and son of Isaac does not know Yehovah was in that place, but I do see God making himself personally real to Jacob.
I wonder, is this experience like the one Peter had when Jesus told him, “Flesh and blood did not reveal that to you but my Father who is in heaven, (Mt 16:17)” after Peter proclaimed that Jesus was “the Messiah, the Son of the Living God? (Mt 16:16)”
I believe that God is building his Church “upon the rock” of God revealing himself to us. I also wonder if this interaction with Jacob was an “upon the rock” building moment?
Update on Darlene
Father is blessing and healing Darlene as he loves her and responds to your loving prayers for her. Her wound is healing, and she is getting stronger as does a little more physical exercise each day.
We know God can heal her completely right now and if he heals her over time his grace is always sufficient!!
We hope to be in Springfield together for Christmas!!!
Numbers 14:20-23 states, “Then the Lord said, ‘I have pardoned them, according to your word. But truly, as I live, and as all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD, none of the men who have seen my glory and my signs that I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and yet have put me to the test these ten times and have not obeyed my voice, shall see the land that I swore to give to their fathers. And none of those who despised me shall see it.’” What is meant by “these ten times?”
One option is to understand this phrase as a rhetorical number. It would be similar to a parent saying to a child, “I have told you ten times to clean your room.” The parent has not necessarily communicated with the child exactly ten times. The point is that there have been countless times that communication has been made. In the Numbers passage, the point would be that the Lord has been persevering with His people through countless illustrations of rebellious behavior, which was testing Him. Another option is to understand this phrase as an actual number. This would mean, then, that the Lord had been tested an actual ten times by the behavior of the people.
Regardless of which option one might choose based on the evidence available, it is important to have an understanding of what it means to “test” the Lord. A clue is provided for us in Numbers 14:11, which is the Lord’s response to the people in the situation, which precipitates Numbers 14:20-23. In Numbers 14:11 it states, “And the LORD said to Moses, ‘How long will this people despise me? And how long will they not believe in me, in spite of all the signs that I have done among them?’” The Lord performed signs (Egyptian plagues, parting of the waters of the Red Sea, etc.) for Israel intending that it would produce belief in them. However, as soon as Israel moved beyond an event where they had seen a sign from the Lord and then encountered another similarly difficult situation, they did not evidence belief. Thus, they tested the Lord. Another clue for this is provided in Exodus 17:6, where it further defines “testing” as Israel’s raising the question, “Is the Lord among us or not?” Again, when the nation encountered difficulty, their response did not evidence a belief that the Lord could move on their behalf and meet them in their place of need. Indeed, in their minds, he was absent.
Either option for understanding “ten times” is plausible because we do not have a record of every event that occurred for Israel during this time period. All we have a record of is “snapshots” of various events that occurred through the nation’s journeys. However, the second option is supported in a rather interesting way from the biblical text. The “signs” of the plagues against the Egyptians are intended not only to judge the Egyptians, but also to instill belief in the nation of Israel. Israel watched the powerful work of God in the ten plagues. Then, the Lord delivered them from the hand of the Egyptians and took them out of the land. How does Israel respond when they encounter difficult situations along the way? Do they evidence belief or does their response “test” the Lord with their lack of belief?
If you were to read Exodus 14 through Numbers 14 (it is not necessary to search through the book of Leviticus) with an eye toward Israel’s response to the various difficulties encountered during their journey, it is interesting to note that there are ten occurrences where they grumble and complain rather than evidence belief in the Lord. Note the following passages:
1. Exodus 14:10-12
At the Red Sea where it seemed that Pharaoh’s army would destroy them
2. Exodus 15:22-24
At Marah where they found bitter water
3. Exodus 16:1-3
In the Desert of Sin as they hungered
4. Exodus 16:19-20
In the Desert of Sin as they paid no attention to Moses concerning the storing of the manna until the morning
5. Exodus 16:27-30
In the Desert of Sin as they disregarded Moses concerning the gathering of the manna on the seventh day
6. Exodus 17:1-4
At Rephidim as they complained for water
7. Exodus 32:1-35
At Mount Sinai as Aaron led the people in making the golden calf
8. Numbers 11:1-3
At Taberah where the people raged against the Lord
9. Numbers 11:4-34
At Kibroth Hattaavah in the grumbling provoked by the rabble for quail
10. Numbers 14:1-3
At Kadesh in the Desert of Paran when the people refused to receive the good report of Joshua and Caleb but rather wished themselves dead
So finally in Numbers 14:11, the Lord cries out “how long?” Repeatedly the Lord had demonstrated His faithfulness in each situation of difficulty. However, as soon as Israel encountered another difficult situation, they evidence unbelief through their grumbling and complaining. Their complaining cried out loudly, “Is the Lord among us or not?” As a result, the Lord concludes, “and yet have put me to the test these ten times and have not obeyed my voice.”
Is any of this important to us? Our response to this is to consider how we might put the Lord to the test in our own lives. We can read about the Lord’s faithfulness in the Bible, and we have seen his faithfulness in our lives. Yet, when we encounter our next difficulty, do we evidence belief in Him, a belief that knows we can trust Him through the difficulty?
David Talley is a professor of Old Testament at Talbot School of Theology. Talley enjoys research in the areas of Old Testament theological themes, local church ministry, and contemporary theological issues. His dissertation research on the judgment of pain in Genesis 3 continues to be a focus in his research as he formulates a perspective on Godly living in a difficult world. Talley is passionate about understanding and teaching the truths of God’s Word, discipling and equipping others, and “passing on the faith” to the next generation. In 2013, he completed a survey book on the Old Testament, which blends the information of the biblical text with the transformation of the heart. His research has also been published in The New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, Eikon (formerly the Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood) and the Christian Research Journal.