December 16, 2018 For Such A Time As This

For Such A Time As This

Have you ever considered that your present residence, age, employment, and such other factors were by intention of God? This question could be asked of your historical residences, ages, employments, and similar factors. By intention opposes Solomon’s “time and change” arguments in Ecclesiastes 9.11 (Bible, also Psalm 33.16-22 & Romans 9.16-18). There is no happenstance with God!

The title above is one illustration of God’s intention. Esther 4.14records Mordecai telling Queen Esther, his cousin (2.15), why God had chosen her to replace Vashti, the rebellious wife of King Ahasuerus (Xerxes) of Persia. Exther was to thwart the plans of satan’s agent, Haman, to exterminate the Jews in all the provinces.

God’s intentionality can be seen in Joseph and Gideon, and in Mary, Joseph, Simeon, Anna, the particular shepherds, and Magi of the Christmas story. Apostle Paul, another example, reminds us that Jesus fulfilled prophesy by being born in “the fullness of time” (Galatians 4.4-5).

The story of Mary and Joseph being chosen is told in Matthew 1.18-25 and Luke 1.26-38. Joseph, a “just man”, was from Nazareth in Galilee (Luke 2.4) and was a carpenter (Matthew 13.55). The last mention of him is when Jesus is questioning the Temple priests at 12 years old (Luke 2.41-51). It is supposed that Joseph died before Jesus began His public ministry.

John 11.1-44 introduces Lazarus (Greek for “whom God helps”; Bible) and tells us that his death and resurrection was intended “‘for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified’”. He joins the “man blind from birth…’that the works of God might be displayed in him’” (John 9.1-3) and the healed paralytic at Bethesda pool who showed that “‘the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing’” (John 5.1-19). Each person above was born with a mission to reveal God and demonstrate His “grace upon grace” (John 1.16-18).

What about you? What is it about your past which give meaning to your present circumstance? Consider how your parents and of those listed above might have asked the questions of Judges 13.12. What is God’s ‘mission’ for you, as in Jeremiah 1.5, as He revealed it to Joseph? Can you repeat John the Baptist’s recognition of success in John 3.27? These are considerations for your contemplation before beginning the new year; contemplations about yourself and your children….

You were born for such a time as this! Jeremiah 29.12-13.

Reference:

Bible. ESV with Stong’s Exhaustive Concordance of Hebrew and Greek

words. www.olivetree.com.

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Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2018. www.sozoclass.com.

 

December 9, 2018 Compelling Proof

Compelling Proof

“‘There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already
know’” (Heywood, 1546). [“In 1738 [this saying] was used by Jonathan Swift in his ‘Polite Conversation’ and [was] first attested in the United States in the 1713 ‘Works of Thomas Chalkley’” (ibid).] But, God first penned these words in the writings of Jeremiah (5.21, Bible, 627-586 BC).

These conclusions were true in Jesus’ day, too, as is presented in John 10.1-42, and became the separation between the debaters in verses 19-21. How could some what others could not? Simply answered, the “blind” could not overcome their personal ‘logical argument as to source’. This argument was their default, since they could not contend with the ‘logical argument as to content’, for another human “proof” stood before them — the seeing blind man (John 9.1-7).

Jesus’ most compelling proofs of His divinity are “‘the works that I do in my Father’s name’” (John 10.25). These “‘witness about
Me’” (ibid)! [So do ours!] In a similar setting, Jesus had declared that He was doing in the flesh what He saw Father “Jesus” doing in the Spirit (John 5.19-20; John 1.1, 14; Luke 1.31; Matthew 1.21; Acts 4.12). The Name “Jesus” gave the Son the authority to do in the flesh what He saw God do in the Spirit (Matthew 28.18-20; Luke 10.17, 19).

Was this what God intended in His declarations in Exodus 34.10 and Deuteronomy 18.18? Thus, Jesus offers compelling proof that God came to earth; 1 John 4.1-4! Such “proofs”, also, affirmed the Apostles, Stephen, and Paul in the Acts (2.42, 3.6, 3.16, 4.30, 5.12, 6.8, 8.7, 8.13, 9.34, 9.40, 11.23-26, 13.12, 14.3, 14.9, 14.19, 16.18, 19.11, and other miracles in Acts; also see 2 Corinthians 12.12). The Name “Jesus” is compelling proof of the authority and power of God today (1 Corinthians 1.24)!

Even though Moses’ writings pointed to Jesus, some Jews were “the most deluded,…who choose to ignore what they already [knew]’” (Heywood, 1546). They could not understand the “figure of speech which Jesus used with them” because they did not accept His Name, ‘Jesus’ (John 10.6; John 8.43).

In John 10.1-18, Jesus presents three important facts for the Jews and us to understand:

1.The ‘sheep’ (believers; John 1.12) that belong to Him listen for and only respond to His voice…God’s voice (John 3.8; remember that the Greek word for wind is the same as for spirit). Other voices are deceptive and cause the sheep to run away (John 8.44; 1 John 4.1-4). Does Jesus infer that the Jews had changed what Moses wrote into a philosophy by adding thousands of more ‘commandments’ (Romans 2.12-29; Matthew 23.1-36)? Jesus’ teachings were consistent with the Law and Prophets (Matthew 5.17-20).

  1. Jesus’ ‘sheep’ enter and exit through His “door” to “find pasture” (John 10.7 & 9). A ‘future’ view of this is John 14.6: we exit this present world to enter and find pasture with our Heavenly Father. A ‘past-present’ view of this is John 3.3 & 5: we add to our ‘fleshly’ capability a ‘spiritual’ capability; i.e., we are born a second time and become capable of seeing both ‘with’ and ‘through’ our eyes (like Nicodemus in John 2.23-3.8).
  2. Jesus ‘sheep’ can rest securely in knowing that He will never abandon them (Psalm 27.1& 118.6). He will, even, give up His life, under instruction from God, to defeat an enemy who attacks the sheep (John 10.11-18; Hebrews 2.14-15). I understand Jesus’ expansive comment in John 10.16to mean the Gentiles, as He was training the disciples to witness to them (Matthew 28.18-20).

You cannot explain Jesus’ deeds apart from accepting His Word!

References
Bible. English Standard Version. www.olivetree.com.

Heywood, John. 1546. Random House Dictionary of Popular Proverbs and Sayings. www.actualfreedom.com.au.

Kelly, Jack. October 23, 2017. Jesus’ Seven ‘I AM’ Statements in John.

https://gracethrufaith.com.

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Praise God!!! Copyright © by Maurice L. Painter, 2018. www.sozoclass.com.