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Tuesday, November 30, 2010

From Eden to Egypt- Day 14

Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.- Genesis 6:8 (KJV)

You have to think hard about it.  Verse 8 comes right after Verses 6 and 7.  That's pretty much a given I would think.  The sequence is important due to the content and the context of the verses.  In verses 6 and 7, the Lord Himself is totally done with mankind.  He is ready to "wipe mankind...from the face of the earth," as verse 7 says in the New International Version.  Yet, when you reach verse 8, your eyes fall upon words that seem to conflict and contrast with the previous verses.

But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.- Genesis 6:8 (KJV)

God was grieved, but He offered Noah grace.  God felt sorry that He had even made man and even placed him on earth, but He did find a man who stood out from among all of those who did wicked in the eyes of the Lord.  The Lord was fed up, but He found Noah whom He offered favor. 

But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.- Genesis 6:8 (ESV)

Noah helps us to see that we don't have to follow the crowd.  He shows us that God looks down from on high and sees our ways on earth.  He offers an example of striving for the standard amid those who may seek to cut corners and fudge it here and there.  His example stands out and speaks out to us in an age where the scandals outweigh the success stories.  Do like Noah and hold fast when the rest of the world may seem to go down the wrong road.  Strive to please God.

But the LORD was pleased with Noah.- Genesis 6:8 (God's Word)

Monday, November 29, 2010

From Eden to Egypt- Day 13


1When men began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, 2the sons of God saw that the daughters of men were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose.
- Genesis 6:1-2 (NIV)

The sons of God, the angels, slept with the "daughters of men." This was referenced by Jude as he wrote about the ways of the wicked and wayward who strayed from God.  Peter makes reference to it in his second epistle when he says: "For if God did not spare angels when they sinned."  There were angels who took it upon themselves to do as they wished, not keeping to their assigned tasks ordained by the Almighty.

Read on in Genesis 6 and see how much the inhabitants of the earth displeased God.  Then, take a long and hard look at our society today.  Are we living in violent and chaotic times? Has sexual immorality taken a hold of our people, spewing with infidelity and pornographic images? Look at it. 

What was going on among the people bothered God.  It grieved God.  It made God sorry that He had made mankind and put them on earth.  It broke his heart.

Let's stop the madness and mayhem.  Let's do our part to live differently.  Jude wrote it as a reminder to us.  Peter wrote it as a warning.  We need to live in truth and not falsehood.  We need to live for God, upholding what we know of Him and clinging to Him with utter dependence for all that we do not know and cannot foresee.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Revived and Renewed

5For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; 6and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; 7and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. 8For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins. 10Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 11and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
- 2 Peter 1:5-11 (NIV)
Peter: Apostle for the Whole Church (Personalities of the New Testament)

I had to take a much-needed break.  I needed the time off.  I was going in all sorts of directions at a perilous pace.  At some point, I had to realize that I needed to regroup in order to continue effectively and ensure that my work contributed to the kingdom of God.  I was drifting into doing more than being.

Have you ever been there? I mean the lonely space where you are knowing what's the truth, speaking the truth and doing the truth, but not necessarily having the truth as your mainstay.  It is a place where what you have been upholding has to become what holds you up after everything is said and done.

I was there.  God captured my attention.  He had me arrive at a simple resolution. 

... be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure... 1 Peter 1:10 (NIV)

Make a turnaround at this turning point.

Did God provide me with this audible announcement? No, I should dare not say so.  He helped me come to the realization that the statement summarizes all that He has placed before me and on my heart.  Even as I preached this past week on Peter's confession of the Lord as the Christ, the son of the living God, and shared a simple Bible lesson on thankfulness, I reckoned with the fact that God called me to do more than simply preach and teach among those who already believe.

I will continue to blog.  Starting Monday, November 29th, I will continue with the series From Eden to Egypt.  I return to the blogosphere renewed and revived.  The Lord has recharged me, energizing me to forge ahead in faith with even greater fire burning within me.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

From Eden to Egypt- Day 12

When Enoch had lived 65 years, he fathered Methuselah.22 Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters.- Gen. 5:21-22 (ESV)
Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings 

Change can come in many forms.  We may have different causes for our change, but we need to ready ourselves for change.  We need to prepare for it as much as possible.  You may never see it coming down pipe, but you still need to ready yourself for the day it comes.  Sam Cooke sang: "Change gonna come." In The Art of War, Sun Tzu said,"In everything there is change."

My suggestion is that you be so prayed up and prepared that no change catches you by surprise.  You need to downsize your home.  It will come one day.  Your children will move out.  Hope and pray that you have done all that you can to prepare them.  Your job is laying off people in every department.  Think over your next career move.  Your wife just said that she's pregnant.  Get yourself ready, buddy.

I have always been amazed about Enoch's walk.  Not only did he walk with God, but he walked with Him and "he was not" due to the fact that God did not let him see death.  The New International Version says: "he was no more." Let's take a factual approach to this.  He was gone.  He was out of everyone's sight.  You could have turned over every rock east of Eden and still never would have found Enoch.


God's sovereignty.  God did with Enoch as He does with us all.  He did whatever He chose to do with Enoch.  Let's not get this theologically twisted.  Let's not dummy-down the doctrine here. 

Our God is in heaven; he does whatever pleases him.- Psalm 115:3 (NIV)

He is sovereign.  Yes, Enoch walked differently due to his son being born.  He walked with the Lord.  Yet, we tend to stress the goodness of Enoch and his walk, not the greatness of God who "took him away." 

Look at God and His power.  Who but God could open up heaven and allow on such as Enoch to walk in? Who but God could look from on high and be considerate of the ways of man, still saying that there is none that does good; no, not one? We have to pay more homage and honor to God for His goodness because He is holy.  Enoch shows us the power of God, not a perfect example of submission.  Don't put too much emphasis on Enoch when you need to see the power and might of the Lord at work in Enoch's life.  Surely, through His power, He can bring about change.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

From Eden to Egypt- Day 11

3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he fathered a son in his own likeness, after his image, and named him Seth.4 The days of Adam after he fathered Seth were 800 years; and he had other sons and daughters.5 Thus all the days that Adam lived were 930 years, and he died.- Genesis 5:3-5 (ESV)
The Creation: A Commentary on the First Five Chapters of the Book of Genesis

Okay.  Someone might have missed it, but when you look at Genesis chapter 5, it speaks of itself as "the book of the generations of Adam" in accordance with verse 1.  Thus, somewhere beyond the reiteration of God's creation of man in His own image and likeness, the Bible breaks down the real deal about man.  The eventuality of Adam in the same for all of us.  According to the last words of verse 5, we are simply told: "and he died." 

Adam died.  He eventually meet his own end.  At some point, after some 930 years of walking about the earth, Adam ceased to live any longer.  His breathing stopped.  His body simply stopped.  Adam passed away 800 years after the birth of Seth, preceded in death by his son Abel at the hands of Adam's other son Cain.

Learn this now.  Death is eventual.  Death is inevitable.  Death is the end of all mean.  I believe Solomon said it best in Ecclesiastes 9: "For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten" (v. 5).  It is the thing that patiently awaits us all.  Be sure to never live in denial of that.

But be sure to live.  Adam did not stop living because he lost a son due to murder.  Adam did not stop living to simply mourn his son.  He did not start a memorial fund in the name of Abel.  He did not erect a shrine of sorts at the place where his other son killed the lad in the open field and shed his blood, taking his innocent life.  Adam lived on.

Adam lived on.  He did not put up a ransom for Cain to be returned home.  He did not make an appeal for Cain to come back after being cast away by the Lord.  No, Adam simply lived and he lived on.  He had more children, starting with Seth, and he gives us an example to live fully while we still have life. 

Live on.  Live on with all of your energy and effort.  Live on.

Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings

Monday, November 15, 2010

From Eden to Egypt- Day 10

Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is Abel your brother?" And he said, "I do not know. Am I my brother's keeper?"-Genesis 4:9 (NASB)

Am I my brother's keeper?
New Jack City (Two-Disc Special Edition) 

It is an age-old question.  Ever since this early sibling rivalry, the question has loomed among mankind. Some have only asked it.  Others have crafted sermons based upon it.  Many have built ministries based on it, too.  It has at least crossed our minds at one time or another, possibly pricking our hearts in some cases.

We ask it without truly seeking out the revealed answer that occurs in the very same verse where it initially appears.  We ask it without recognizing that the question that prompts us asking such a question provides the very rationale that we need to truly understand the Lord's desire for us.

"Where is Abel your brother?" 
Blood In, Blood Out 

It is the Lord who asks this of Cain.   It is not Adam or Eve seeking to find out what has happened to Abel.  It is the Lord who asks about Cain's brother.  The Lord's question about Abel, Cain's brother, supersedes and precedes Cain asking if he is his brother's keeper.  The question that comes from the Most High is over greater importance.

Let us seek to uphold our Christian responsibility by answering the Lord's inquiry about our brother or sister.  Let it never be the case that we are resistant or reluctant to help our brother or sister in need when we have the means to help him or her.  How pleasing are we to the Lord when we cannot even answer about our care and concern for our own brother or sister? May we never shame the very name of Christ by our negligence for the calling to live up to His name as Christians.

Friday, November 12, 2010

From Eden to Egypt- Day 9

Now the man called his wife's name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living.
- Genesis 3:20 (NASB)

She was called Eve.  She was the "mother of all the living." I find it interesting that the man "named" his wife

 according to the New International Version.  This occurs in chapter 3, but let us look at chapter 2 for a moment.

And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. - Genesis 2:23 (KJV)

He called her "Woman" before he called her "Eve." He identified with her being a part of him before he recognized her as being the "mother of all the living." He saw her as bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh "because she was taken out of Man."  He saw them as interconnected beyond what they're coming together would produce.
That's the beauty of male-female relationships.  There's so much that we see as differences between us.  Yet, God saw fit to take from the man to make the woman.  He created them both.  He utilized their union to symbolize Christ's union with the body of believersHe sanctified and ordained the union of man and woman long before municipalities authorized and legalized marriages.  Yes, we were made for each other because He made us so and He saw that it was good.
Let us not neglect the blessed union that God has provided for us.  Let every marriage be seen as God's sacred unification of man and woman as one flesh.  We should love one another, male and female, husband and wife, as gifts from the Most High to us.

And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. - Genesis 2:25 (KJV)

*From Eden to Egypt is a series for Life Path Ministries by Rev. Bruce Jackson that chronicles a daily study and reading of the Book of Genesis and The Genesis Record by Henry M. Morris.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

From Eden to Egypt- Day 8

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made.- Genesis 3:1 (ESV)

Typically, we get the story wrong.  Art gives us a false perception at times, especially when it comes to this Old Testament . We picture a snake slithering and easing up on this woman.  Oftentimes, the depiction is of a snake entangled upon some tree limb and hanging in the face of the woman, Eve.  Or, in some cases, where the Scriptures don't even come into consideration, the snake is positioned between the man and woman with his coiled body asymmetrically balancing the artwork as he offers the temptation of a deep-red apple to both parties.

Can you simply read Genesis 3 for yourself?

The serpent was not cursed until after he participated in the temptation of mankind.  In essence, we do not know the serpent's previous condition, its pre-fall nature, but we are certain that, after Genesis 3:14, the serpent's condition is changed by God Almighty.  The word "enmity" comes up in the next verse as an indication of the changed relationship between mankind and the serpent.  Regardless of how we look at it, the serpent demonstrates that God can change us.  He is an example of God's correction of created beings under His divine control.

The serpent symbolizes the introduction of devilish deception.  He introduced a seed of doubt in regards to the Word of God.  He simply shared that what man had been led to believe was not so.  He keyed in on the notion that God had something to hide, something to keep from man. 

Imagine if we understood are enemy and his tactics so well that we could have our defenses ready for anything he threw our way.  That would be just a taste of paradise.

*From Eden to Egypt is a series for Life Path Ministries by Rev. Bruce Jackson that chronicles a daily study and reading of the Book of Genesis and The Genesis Record by Henry M. Morris.

Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Found Prophet

14 Then Amos answered, and said to Amaziah:

“I was no prophet,

Nor was I a son of a prophet,

But I was a sheepbreeder

And a tender of sycamore fruit.

15 Then the Lord took me as I followed the flock,

And the Lord said to me,

‘Go, prophesy to My people Israel.’

Amos' defense of himself in response to Amaziah's accusations of him let us know that Amos was "no prophet" and certainly not "a son of prophet."  Among the prophets of the Old Testament, we discover that Amos was not of a priestly lineage like Jeremiah or Isaiah.  Amos was a "herdsman" who "followed the flock."  In fact, it is Amos' claim that God found him as he "followed the flock" as "sheepbreeder."
The Lord will seek us out in order to get us sparked.  He will seek us out to get us started.  He will seek us out to show us or send us, even to summon us.  He initiates something within us that causes us to respond to His call upon our lives.
Once we have been found by the Lord, we begin to start. . .
  • Seeking the Lord
  • Serving the Lord
  • Satisfying the Lord
Think hard about it.  When did God call you? Where did He find you?

God expects a response to His call. He waits on the weary soul that has been beckoned. He awaits a change to come over the one who has been summoned.

Did you start seeking Him? Did you start serving Him? Did you start satisfying God?

Respond to God bidding you.  He sought you out for a purpose. Don't resist or rebel.
Amen Me!