Taking the Epistle

A biblical journey through the epistles

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Faithfulness and blessings – Deuteronomy 28:1-6

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Faithfulness and blessings – Deuteronomy 28:1-6 – 07/11/2016

Today’s devotional is based in the Mosaic Law book of Deuteronomy chapter 28 which reads…

Deuteronomy 28:1 (ESV) “And if you faithfully obey the voice of the LORD your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the LORD your God. 3 Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. 4 Blessed shall be the fruit of your womb and the fruit of your ground and the fruit of your cattle, the increase of your herds and the young of your flock. 5 Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. 6 Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out.

Let me be plain and state that I do write this article with a certain amount of bias; I am starting this article with the presupposition that God keeps his promises and that when the relationship breaks down between God and us as believers then it will always be an issue at our end because I serve a flawless God and I am very flawed.

If?

When we look at the text the first word that stands out in six feet tall letters is the second word of the first verse “IF” and the reason this is there is because God is perfect and we are, let’s face it – NOT! We know that this is the case with our relationship with God today and how many times do you look in shame at your performance at being faithful to God, being more faithful to yourself and selfish desires than being faithful to what you know is right in the eyes of God and often times we are sinful in going your own way. Some sins have more far reaching consequences than others and whilst you know that God will be that “good good father” and forgive this prodigal child (Luke 15:11-32) likewise we also know that we will not always be absolved from the consequences of our sins.

Sounds awesome, so it is all blessings?

God knows us better than we know ourselves and much like the children of Israel we are given that choice to follow him or not and God lists a whole bunch of blessings that they would receive so that they would know that they would be so blessed that it could only have come from the LORD. He lists a whole bunch of blessings from verses 1-14 and on the flip side he promises them in verses 15-68 what would happen if they did not follow him. On one side they would be blessed beyond anything imaginable and if they cursed God they would be cursed beyond anything imaginable and having read that list it scares me to the bone and gives me a healthy fear of God.

Cool does that mean I will be rich?

God wanted to not just bless them in a tangible way they could see such as material belongings and assets but also in a much better blessing by blessing them spiritually which I am sure you will agree have value eternally as well as temporarily. As Christians we serve the same benevolent God who wants his children to be blessed and whilst it is not a guarantee of an easy life and often times we will have the same troubles as anyone else we do know that we will have that divine blessing that will be much more than a material one because the choice to follow or not was up to the people and God was not going to force himself upon those who did not wish Him to be their God. This choice is the same to us as Gentiles where we can either choose to be servants of God or not because we have our Messiah in Jesus Christ who came down to earth to be our sacrifice through his death at Calvary and his mission was in order to reunite and reconcile man to God because God wants us to be in eternal communion and does not desire that any should perish (John 3:16-17) but have eternal life.

Is this just your opinion?

Not at all! The apostle Paul wrote about this in the third chapter of Romans, he compared how men were compared to an indescribable perfect God. He stripped away the idea of Jew and Gentile and showed that we were all the same when it came to God. Please feel free to read below…

Romans 3:1 (ESV) Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the value of circumcision? 2 Much in every way. To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. 3 What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? 4 By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, “That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.” 5 But if our unrighteousness serves to show the righteousness of God, what shall we say? That God is unrighteous to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) 6 By no means! For then how could God judge the world? 7 But if through my lie God’s truth abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner? 8 And why not do evil that good may come?—as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just. 9 What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all. For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, 10 as it is written: “None is righteous, no, not one; 11 no one understands; no one seeks for God. 12 All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” 13 “Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive.” “The venom of asps is under their lips.” 14 “Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness.” 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 in their paths are ruin and misery, 17 and the way of peace they have not known.” 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” 19 Now we know that whatever the law says it speaks to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God. 20 For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin. 21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it—22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. 27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

If you are interested in bible studies I have done in the book of Romans then please click here and this will show you different articles that have been done in this book in a commentary/devotional format.

God bless and I pray this was a blessing and please feel free to like, share or comment on here or whatever social media platforms you use as the Lord leads you to, as always I love questions about this or any other article so please feel free to fill in the form below, all comments are moderated to avoid profanity.
TTE
TGBTG
SDG

 

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TTE Advent Calendar Day One – December 1st

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TTE Advent Calendar Day One – December 1st

Thank you for reading our first installment of our advent series, please check out our advent page for more articles in this series.

Isaiah 9:6 (ESV) For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

After completing my Thanksgiving article number seven, God placed on my heart the idea of a new series based on the idea of an advent calendar. Now I don’t for one second want to tell you that I will have an article every day, however I will try to do one as often as I can. (LORD willing of course)

So what’s the idea?

The idea is to go through some of the prophetic scriptures concerning Jesus, some you will have read, some you may not have. I had the idea that you can never be too prepared to celebrate the birth of the Saviour of the world.

Unto us a child is born, to us a son is given…

Isaiah 9:6 (ESV) For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

As you can tell from the literal words of the text the messiah was going to be born in the conventional way, he was going to biologically come from a woman. History tells us that the mother of Jesus of Nazareth was a young girl called Mary. We read in Matthew’s gospel the following:

Matthew 1:18 (ESV) Now the birth of Jesus Christ took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been betrothed to Joseph, before they came together she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. 19 And her husband Joseph, being a just man and unwilling to put her to shame, resolved to divorce her quietly. 20 But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.” 22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: 23 “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us). 24 When Joseph woke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him: he took his wife, 25 but knew her not until she had given birth to a son. And he called his name Jesus.

How can we validate the source?

The writer was Matthew, a tax collector, a man who kept meticulously precise records for the Romans prior to conversion and afterward when he wrote this record he was a man who began the first 17 verses of the book listing the genealogies to prove that Jesus was the Christ. The man had researched and stated the case based on Old Testament lineage, genealogies and theological records.  This was a guy who only wrote It down if it was correct.

Was he fully God or man?

This verse tells us that although Jesus was fully God, he was also fully man. He came to be that example of a sinless life and to pay the price for our sins. There is a heresy that Jesus appeared to us but was still only God. Being man he was never less God, however he took on flesh as one person but two different parts. He literally became a fulfillment and confirmation that man was indeed made in the image of God. (Genesis 1:26)

Jesus became man in order to be that sacrifice. If he was not fully man how could he live a sinless life and atone for man’s sins? How could he take the place of guilty man? This would negate his sacrifice and make it illogical as well as insufficient.

From the creation account we learn that God can create things that are old, that are fully grown. He could have allowed Jesus to arrive in the earth as a fully grown man (much like Adam) and fulfill his mission as a man, however Jesus was born as a baby, a baby that was in danger from the moment he was born by the ruler of the day (Herod) he identified with every part of humanity, being born, growing up, submitting to parental authority, being tempted, fulfilling his mission and tasting death on a cross. What a glory to God that Jesus went through everything we do and came out glorified.

And the government shall be upon his shoulder…

Imagine this, a Government who doesn’t lie! An honest, just government who will judge fairly based on just means and fairly weighed scales. This is not a party political party broadcast. This is not a set of promises to get someone elected. This will be a millennial Government, with a just king. The King of Kings. Revelation 20 gives us what this will look like.

I like this idea, but I can’t vote for him. Citizenship has no borders, no immigration reform; there is only one way to get in. Currency is not a problem due to the immigration price having being paid should you accept the invitation from the king. In this kingdom there will be no more death, no crime and this king will have a 100% approval rating. Sounds great huh?

The names of Jesus

We read the following…

“and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”

I could spend all day going through these names to glory Jesus. He is all of those names and much more. We read that he “shall be called” these names, whilst these may not be his given name, he will be known as those names. He will be a wonderful counselor, etc.

We really have to ponder these names and carefully consider what they mean, I am guilty when I am reading Isaiah because I have read this verse so many times and seen it quoted so many times of skimming it and not giving it the time that it is due.

He is “wonderful” who else could do what he has done and not do it for personal glory, to willingly submit to the harshest possible death in order to save people he knew may reject him, how else could you describe him but wonderful.

He is “counselor” Who do we pray to? Who do we seek solace in times of trouble? Who is our example? Who would give more honest and faithful counsel? Do you use this counselor as often as you should? Also if not do you struggle more than you should?

He is “Mighty God” Even although we have been speaking of the humanity of the messiah we cannot forget the deity of the messiah. Had he not been as much God as he was man his sacrifice would be null and void. He would just be a heretic tried by the religious and civil laws of that country.

He is “Everlasting father” He was there at the beginning of the world. He is quoted as saying “Before Abraham was I AM”. We touch on this in our “Creation” section. He is as timeless as God and will rule forever.

He is “Prince of Peace” He is the one who makes peace between God and man. The sacrifice that he made was the only atonement that would reconcile man to God.

My hope is that this look at a messianic passage was a help to you and my hope is that this blessed you and hopefully stirred some questions about Jesus being your messiah.

God bless you one and all, I thank you for reading this article. Please share, comment or like below as the LORD leads you too.
TGBTG
TTE