Taking the Epistle

A biblical journey through the epistles

Tag Archives: TTE

TTE Advent Calendar Day One – December 1st

image

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

I am no “Patriot” but I do “Hail to the Chiefs”

image

I am no “Patriot” but I do “Hail to the Chiefs”

Like most males based in America, I love me a little MNF (Or Monday Night Football for those who do not speak NFL) but I try to restrict myself to when my team are playing and I have it as more of a treat than a Monday night ritual. As you may have guessed by the title and picture that I have placed on the top of this article, I am a fan of the Kansas City Chiefs.

I must have some sort of NFL style Stockholm syndrome by choosing a team that I have never seen live in the Superbowl (I was born in 1977) and who quite often lose in the playoffs, but I am a loyal guy and once I saw an aging Joe Montana throw snaps in the Red, white and yellow uniform, I was hooked and instantly loved the game.

A few years later in the country where I lived in Scotland we got the NFL Europe and we got a team called the “Scottish Claymores” and I continued to like this “foreign sport” along with about 10,000 other die hards until the team ceased operations in 2004.

When I moved to the US I continued to like the game and although I live no-where near KC, I have kept up with what is going on with a team that I have formed an association with and a team that has given me a great deal of joy, a great deal of frustration and a great cause of my mood swings.

Last night was a good night to be a Chiefs fan and it is hard because there is a tradition that we do at Arrowhead that I am not too fond of, this may sound hypocritical as I was not born in the US or am I a US citizen, however I am not a fan of the tradition of concluding the American national anthem with “The land of the free, in the home of the CHIEFS!” I am a really big fan of my team but I do think there are some things that you shouldn’t mess with. The US is a wonderful country and one of the greatest things about this place is that they are proud to be American.

Play by play, the Chiefs played better than the Patriots, won 41-14, they set a new Guinness record for noise and despite the fact I started the game about an hour after the rest of the country. (I had errands to run and I had the game DVR’d) I still finished it about the time the rest of the US and I was getting more and more excited as the game was drawing to a close.

This made me think, imagine getting into a state about a game that I have no control over and that for half of it I was cheering after the play had occurred, (even if I was in the stadium I would have little to do with the outcome on the field) when I don’t get in a state about the things that matter, things like I wonder how many of the 76,000 seats last night were occupied by people who were assured of going to heaven by having Jesus as their Saviour.

Please do not think I am against sports and enjoying yourself, that is not the case. I love watching football and love to see my team win, however I do realize and recognize that “tribal worship” like that is not exactly a good thing. Since I have been in California, I have seen folks check their smart phones to check scores whilst in church, rush out of church to get home to see their game or in some cases (and I have done this) when the church service collides with a game, not went to church.

That’s when you have to do some examining our natural face in the glass (as James would say in his epistle) and pray about what the LORD wants you to do. This maybe an emotive subject as I know many Christians who love the NFL and I know the teams they follow but precious little else about them, that is tragic and we do tend to wear our sports teams jerseys like some sort of cultish pride.

I am not against watching football on a Sunday, Monday or whatever day you choose to, but I do have some advice, last night when I DVR’d the game, I got through it in just over an hour as opposed to the nearly 4 hours I usually set aside. This is not a guilt trip and I am as much talking to me as anyone but when was the last time you spent nearly 4 hours in prayer and worship to the one true king? (Jesus Christ)

I do not wish to get all legalistic and we are all free to make our own choices. I can no easier see your heart as I can your motives in what you do, I have no idea what your daily walk with Jesus is like, however I do like to throw up warning flares and hope that the Holy Spirit uses these writings to fulfill the will of God. There is no anti sport agenda here as I love Rugby, Soccer, Football and Baseball. In fact if my “religion” was sports results then I would have been a happy worshipper with Dundee United, Glasgow Warriors and the LA Dodgers all winning recently.

It is like most things I guess in the Christian faith, all down to your heart. If it becomes a consuming passion in your life then it is clear that you need to take a step back and a step closer to Jesus.

From this member of the Red Tribe I pray that this blog is edifying, challenging and thought provoking, please feel free to comment, like or share below, God bless you one and all
TGBTG
TTE

Careful you get the address correct

20140615-204125.jpg

Careful you get the address correct

After the last few heavy blogs I felt that we could all do with a little piece of “Monday mirth”. Just be careful in your e-correspondence.

A couple going on vacation but his wife was on a business trip so he went to the destination first and his wife would meet him the next day.

When he reached his hotel, he decided to send his wife a quick email.

Unfortunately, when typing her address, he mistyped a letter and his note was directed instead to an elderly preacher’s wife whose husband had passed away only the day before.

When the grieving widow checked her email, she took one look at the monitor, let out a piercing scream, and fell to the floor in a dead faint.

At the sound, her family rushed into the room and saw this note on the screen:

Dearest Wife,
Just got checked in. Everything prepared for your arrival tomorrow.

P.S. Sure is hot down here.

God bless you all and I hope this finds you well.
TGBTG
TTE

Forgiveness – How do you forgive your daughter’s killer?

20140614-114923.jpg

Forgiveness – How do you forgive your daughter’s killer?

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32

News article

Video for embrace – Mother Ady DeJesus Hugs Daughter’s 15-year-old Killer in Court – LoneWolf Sager

While listening to Spirit 88.9 on Friday morning, the host (The Wally Show) spoke about a lady called Ady Guzman-DeJesus, who chose to forgive the 16 year old kid who accidently killed her daughter, Jordyn Howe was the name of the accused.

He accepted a plea deal (guilty to manslaughter) that allowed him to not face prison. The beautiful moment of forgiveness was captured on video and left the whole courtroom feeling moved. For me, I felt as a Christian, what forgiveness and a great example to us all who hold grudges for much “lesser crimes”.

As the father of a (almost) 5 year old daughter who played soccer for the first time today and seeing how precious that memory was, I can easily place myself in the situation that lady faced, I have to really search deeply whether I would have the inner strength to do what I am commanded to in the word of God.

Howe accidently shot the daughter Lourdes (Jina) Guzman-DeJesus, on a school bus in 2012. Howe pointed the gun at the victim, the gun he had taken from his step-fathers house, he did not realize it was armed and shot the neck of the victim and killed her.

The forgiveness aspect is what gets me, I have no idea whether the lady is a Christian or not, but this is a living day example of a lady who has lost so much, but yet forgave even more.

God bless and I pray this was a blessing
TGBTG
TTE