September 28, 2009
I wanted to share some thoughts from our bible study last week. There were some great discoveries that we made that blessed, encouraged and challenged us. We began in Colossians 1 were there were three places in which it spoke about hope, verses 5, 23, and 27. The root of this word in the Greek was not as we expected. We went to the Strong’s concordance and all three of these “hope” words shared the same number, (1680 if you would be interested to know), meaning joyful and confident expectation.
Confident expectation, wow that doesn’t sound like we are wishing for something as I normally think of the meaning of the word hope. We then reread these verses exchanging the word “hope” for “confident expectation”, check it out for yourself it’s very powerful and it leaves little room for doubt.
I love 15-19; these verses are so full and rich. The words the author uses clearly depict Christ who is in total control and who is filled with the fullness of God for the very purpose of reconciliation. Folks, that’s why he came in the first place! Of course he loves you, no matter what, as we say in our family!
Verses 21-22 are power packed as it speaks of the condition of our minds at the time Christ died for us. So many people are deceived into thinking that they have to have their act together to come to Christ but he died for us when we were his enemy and bogged down in our evil behavior. We couldn’t even begin to be good enough for God to accept us. We had to have a Savior, a bridge if you will, to be accepted by God.
Romans 8:1-17 showed us how we are to live with the Spirit of God leading the way as we continued with our study. Christ actually was the offering for our sin and his blood made it possible for us to be reconciled to God (vs. 3-4). The purpose of the law or the 10 commandments was to show us the condition of our hearts, no one can live the 10 commandments perfectly unless the Spirit of God is in full control and he does it for us. Here again verses 5-8 speaks of our minds and how our thinking relates to the condition of our spirit.
When Christ came into my life I became a new creature, I now have a new spirit in me and a new way of thinking and behaving and the same is true of you if you have received Jesus as your Savior but the problem comes when we don’t believe what the word says about us. Because of the past, we have a hard time believing what God says it true about us, we return to the old ways of thinking instead of the new way we have been given. Paul is telling us who we really are in Christ under the inspiration of the Spirit of God and we must believe it. If we can believe the bible for our salvation then we can also believe what the bible says about us.
All this believing is also called faith, Hebrews 11:1 tells us what faith is… “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” Ahh, there is the word “hope” again and this word in the Strong’s Concordance is number 1679 and it means “to wait for salvation with joy and full confidence,” doesn’t sound like doubt or wishing is a part of this “hope” either but rather something that is sure and something that will be completed.
From here we moved to Mark 11:12-33, Jesus curses a fig tree and even though it isn’t the season for figs (vs. 13) the tree withers from the root. We are to be ready in season and out of season, this is what is expected of us and there will be no excuses (2 Timothy 4:1-4). Jesus makes that clear to us through his demonstration. We have received the gift of faith in Christ Jesus now go and preach it!
Mark 11: 22-25 reiterates having faith and believing especially where prayer is concerned. It is interesting to also note that forgiveness is mentioned here in conjunction with prayer. We discussed how people often view forgiveness as for the person who has wronged us, but this verse states quite the contrary. Verse 25 states, “And when you stand praying, if you find anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Who does this verse say forgiveness is really for? For you, the one who has been wronged in order that you can BE forgiven YOUR sins by the Father.
Why would I want to risk not being forgiven by my Father in heaven because someone has wronged me? It makes more sense to forgive the person and receive forgiveness from the Father and let him deal with the wrong, God is the only one who can make it right anyway! What this scripture tells us is that when we don’t forgive it will affect not only our prayers but also our relationship with God.
Jesus goes on in this portion of scripture to assert his authority and defuse the religious leader’s authority. He reveals their hearts to the crowd and puts them in their place. Jesus is the one in total control never forget that and his light shines on us revealing our hearts as well!
Matthew 11: 1-15 was the last scripture that we read and what stood out to me was verse 14. Jesus plainly told the crowd who John the Baptist was by saying this… “And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come.”
What a mouthful…. “and if you are willing to accept it” what more can I say other than the one who follows Christ must be willing to accept what he says through his word to be true. It is either all true or none of it is true. There is no gray area with God, no compromise.
September 28, 2009