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The Resurrection And The Trinity

“I and the Father are One.” John 10:30 (ESV)

God is three Persons: God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. They are One. God exists in the perfect unity of One. There is never conflict between the three Persons of the Godhead. God is always in perfect harmony with Himself. He is always in perfect unity with Himself. So, after the crucifixion, God raised Jesus from the dead. This was the action of one God in three persons.

Concerning the Father’s role in the resurrection, the Bible teaches: “the immeasurable greatness of his power toward us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.” (Ephesians 1:19–21)

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The Nearness of God

I never put much thought into the impact of nearness until recently. Over the past six months, my wife and I have transitioned into the empty-nester phase of life as our youngest son went off to college. The early part of the transition was fun and exciting as we started to have a bit more time for the two of us. There were fewer activities to navigate, less managing curfews, and a dramatically lower grocery bill.

However, as time has passed, we have wrestled with our sons being away. We miss them and often look for ways to get together. There is something about having them near that brings a sense of peace and comfort.

These words describe a similar sense we may experience when God is near, however, in Psalm 73:28 the topic of nearness goes deeper and should more profoundly impact how we respond.

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A New Creation

Recently my kids discovered a caterpillar on a bush outside of our house. They are at ages where curiosity is abounding and so we brought it inside and borrowed an insect net from some friends. Soon after, the caterpillar spun its chrysalis for its transition to a butterfly. We did some searching on the internet and found out that the chrysalis stage typically lasts for 11-12 days. Unfortunately for the kids, this meant that we were going to be on vacation when the butterfly emerged, so we took the insect net to a friend’s house and had them send some pictures and videos of the butterfly.

Soon after we arrived home from vacation, we found several more caterpillars on the bush and ended up with 13 caterpillars, some of which we “blessed” other families with by giving the caterpillars away so they could have the opportunity to watch this amazing process. We ended up with 7 of our own, and over the last few days we have watched them closely as they have matured into butterflies and completed the biological process of metamorphosis. It has been a truly fun experience to watch my kids’ excitement, and it also reminds me of the metamorphosis that occurs in the life of the believer.

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Is Your Path Narrow Enough?

The men referenced in Matthew 7:21-24 had selected too wide a path to enter the Kingdom. The path is narrow to enter; too wide a path leads to destruction (v13). They seemed to think that their chosen path was narrow enough, but Jesus said, “I never knew you, depart from me you evil doers.” (v23)

What a terrifying thought. To make a choice so important as what it means to follow God, to expect to be approved by the Judge Jesus Christ, to expect an eternity in Heaven and then be rejected by God. To their horror, they had misconstrued the expectation, misjudged the target or worse, they willfully followed Him on their own terms, resulting in payment of an unimaginable, devastating price.

He termed their path as one of “lawlessness” (v23). According to the apostle John in 1 John 3:4, lawlessness is defined as sin or work of iniquity. It is the defection from God’s law, His standard and command on how we are to do things.

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There is no partiality with God

There are obvious examples of God’s partiality to Israel in the Old Testament. Surely God was partial when he led Israel through the Red Sea unharmed but then destroyed the Egyptian chariots that tried to follow. Surely God was partial when he dropped food (manna) upon Israel in the wilderness, something no other people had ever experienced. Surely God is partial with us when we learn about “Election” in Romans 9, through the teaching that He loved Jacob but hated Esau.

Yet the statement that there is no partiality with God is surprisingly spread throughout the Bible, mostly contained in warnings. I found such warnings in Deuteronomy, II Chronicles, Job, Psalms. Proverbs and Malachi in the Old Testament and Acts, Romans. Galatians. Ephesians, Colossians. I Timothy, and James in the New Testament.

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Saint’s Perseverance

“And he (the angel) said to me (John), ‘Let the one who does wrong, still do wrong; and the one who is filthy, still be filthy; and let the one who is righteous, still practice righteousness; and the one who is holy, still keep himself holy’” (Revelation 11:11).

We carry our temporal character into eternity, whether good or bad. Our character is not “transformed” at the entering into heaven, but confirmed. The Law of the Harvest is faithful to the eternal; “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap (Galatians 6:7).

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Love and Restoration

1 John 4:19-21: “We love, because He first loved us. If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from Him, that the one who loves God should love his brother also.”

(Observation): We are commanded to love our brother. One cannot love God and hate his brother.

(Interpretation): I suggest to you that the word brother in the passage means a fellow adoptee into the family of God, by faith in Jesus Christ. In other words, a fellow Christian. Therefore, the conclusion is that hatred for someone who has the Spirit of God in them precludes the possibility that the hater could love God. Further, it is by God’s love that He sacrificed Jesus to pay for our sins.

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Willing to Be Foolish

Evangelism comes naturally to some. They count it as a spiritual gift. For the rest of us it can feel like a challenge or even a grind as we flop around like a fish out of water, not knowing what to do or how to do it. We may not recognize the opportunities in front of us to be undertaken, regretfully seeing many of these opportunities in the rear-view mirror.

Jesus commands us to “go make disciples” prior to his accession into the heavenlies (Matthew 28:18-20). Therefore, it is the responsibility of all men to be involved in evangelism, sharing the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ– regardless of spiritual giftedness.

The obedient man of God is involved in evangelism. To say otherwise runs counter to Biblical teaching. It would suggest that a man does not need to be merciful, does not need to serve, has no need to be generous–simply because he does not identify any of these as his spiritual gift. Certainly, a lack of giftedness in a particular arena is not an adequate justification in neglecting obedience to those things to which God has commanded.

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Most Gladly!

“And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me” (2 Corinthians 12:9).

Life is a journey! It’s often a series of walks through valleys, climbing peaks, descending back into the valley and then repeating. It’s been said that life is a marathon, not a race. There are several significant life events (this list not exhaustive) that illustrate the challenge of the marathon…here are four:

Death of a loved one
Major illness or injury
Job loss

Have you experienced one of these “life events” recently? Perhaps a series of them within a short period of time? Are you at a point in your life where it seems to be one “hit” after another? Well, don’t feel like you own the exclusive rights. None are exempt!

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The Prayer of a Righteous Man

Lately, I have been spending time in Daniel chapter 9. This chapter has Daniel offering one of the great prayers in the Bible. And as an example to us, here we see how a man of God prayed to the Lord.

We are told in this chapter that Daniel realizes that the 70 years of Babylonian captivity are about up, and the Jews would be returning to Jerusalem soon. Daniel decides to pray to God about this. It is interesting that instead of praying for God to send them back to Jerusalem, out from under their pain of their circumstances and into freedom, this is a prayer of repentance!

As I reflect on the life of Daniel, he seems to be one of the few Old Testament characters that lives a consistently righteous life with no major screw ups. Many great men of the Bible had great flaws, which can be comforting for us that have flaws, but Daniel operated with wisdom and an unwavering desire to follow God throughout his life. Under great pressure and persecution, he never seemed to waver in his commitment to God no matter what the circumstance.

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