Nuggets – Offended at Him

Offended at Him
“Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.” (Mark 6:3)

There is many an individual who has by God’s grace found the Lord and has had a fruitful ministry in a place far from his hometown where he once lived a lifestyle of which he has now repented. Going home is difficult, for his former companions in sin will be there to oppose and tempt and disbelieve.

In the course of His travels, Jesus returned to His birthplace (v. 1), and although He had lived a sinless life in His early years, He was still only one of the local citizens, and this resulted in their prideful opposition and disbelief.

“And when the sabbath day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue: and many hearing him were astonished, saying, From whence hath this man these things? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands?” (v. 2). As in our text, His local roots brought scorn and pride and offense.

Their unbelief (v. 6) seemed to limit His ability to work miracles (“and he could there do no mighty work,” v. 5), but such is not the case. There is no limit to the power of the omnipotent Creator! He is not limited by our feeble faith, but evidently He chose to limit His work as a way of reproof of their pride and unbelief.

Yet, note Mark’s casual mention of the healing of “a few sick folk” (v. 5). Such healings were in fact a mighty display of God’s power, a fact that Mark’s readers (primarily Romans and other Gentiles very impressed with power) would have recognized.

Let us not allow our modern-day familiarity with Christ and His power limit the honor and obedience that we return to Him (v. 4). JDM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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Nuggets – The Ministry of the Saints

The Ministry of the Saints
“Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both their’s and our’s.” (1 Corinthians 1:2)

This salutation to those “called saints” at Corinth (the words “to be” are not in the original) makes it clear that all who “in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord” are the saints of God. The word “saint” means “one who is sanctified” or “set apart,” having been called to serve the Lord.

That service is varied, and many striking figures of speech are used in the Bible to describe it. In the first place, the saints are “witnesses unto me” (Acts 1:8) and, therefore, “ambassadors for Christ” (2 Corinthians 5:20). The words and deeds of believers are to serve as an actual Bible to those who may not read God’s Word. “Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart” (2 Corinthians 3:3).

Christ applied the figure of candlesticks to the churches addressed in Revelation, with Himself in the midst (Revelation 1:12-13). Similarly, we are enjoined to “shine as lights in the world; Holding forth the word of life” (Philippians 2:15-16). This light is not merely the light of a godly life, but the light of God’s revealed truth, for we constitute “the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (1 Timothy 3:15).

In relation to Christ, we constitute “the body of Christ, and members in particular” (1 Corinthians 12:27) and have been presented “as a chaste virgin to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:2). One day we shall reign with Him as “kings and priests unto God” (Revelation 1:6). HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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Nuggets – Our Understanding of Creation

Our Understanding of Creation
“Thou, even thou, art LORD alone; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein, the seas, and all that is therein, and thou preservest them all; and the host of heaven worshippeth thee.” (Nehemiah 9:6)

The Bible clearly states that God created the “heaven, and earth, the sea and all that in them is” (Exodus 20:11) out of nothing. “Things which are seen were not made of things which do appear” (Hebrews 11:3). The first verse of the Bible, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” could be paraphrased: God called into existence the space–mass–time (i.e., heavens–earth–beginning) universe. Evidently before creation, nothing now intrinsic to the universe existed at all.

While this teaching is clear, not hard to understand, it is hard to believe. Such ex nihilo (i.e., out of nothing) creation is so foreign to our experience that it can only be comprehended as God reveals it to us. We are taught that His creative work was finished at the end of the sixth day of the creation week (Genesis 2:1-4). With the exception of certain of the miracles of Christ on Earth, such creation has not occurred since, and we have difficulty believing it could happen, so foreign is it to our experience.

Our difficulty stems primarily from the fact that we are sinful creatures; our minds are hampered by sin. “The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1 Corinthians 2:14).

Since the doctrine of creation is foundational to the rest of Scripture, we dare not neglect it just because it is difficult, and we dare not impose our feeble naturalistic reasonings onto the clear teaching of Genesis 1 and related passages, thereby reducing God’s power to mere human abilities. JDM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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September 18 – One Big Family

Help us love one another, Lord!

THE RIVER WALK

For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and God’s promise to Abraham belongs to you. (Galatians 3:26-29)

Read: Isaiah 28:14-30:11, Galatians 3:23-4:31, Psalm 62:1-12, Proverbs 23:19-21 

Relate: Sometimes it seems like the disparate pieces don’t quite fit together. My church here in Southeast Turkey is in many ways three different churches that all meet under one roof. There is an English speaking, a Turkish speaking, and an Arabic speaking service every Sunday. Even in the English service there are between 12 to 20 different nationalities and…

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Nuggets – His Son’s Name

His Son’s Name
“Who hath ascended up into heaven, or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his fists? who hath bound the waters in a garment? who hath established all the ends of the earth? what is his name, and what is his Son’s name, if thou canst tell?” (Proverbs 30:4)

The obvious answer to these rhetorical questions must center in God, the Creator of all things. But the fascinating revelation in this Old Testament passage is that God has a Son and that both have names.

When Moses asked God His name, “God said unto Moses, I Am That I Am . . . . This is my name for ever” (Exodus 3:14-15). Later, Moses, in his song of deliverance, said: “The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name” (Exodus 15:3). The name Lord (Hebrew Jehovah or Yahweh) means, essentially, “I am, the self-existent one.”

As far as His Son’s name is concerned, it is revealed in Scripture in many ways. In the Old Testament prophecy, “His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). How remarkable that a “Son is given” who is also named the mighty God and everlasting Father!

In His incarnation, the angel commanded Joseph, “Thou shalt call his name Jesus” (“Jehovah saves”), but he also said, “They shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us” (Matthew 1:21, 23).

There are many other titles by which the Son of God is identified, but perhaps the most significant are noted in connection with His final return in triumph. “His name is called The Word of God” (Revelation 19:13), identifying Him as both eternal Creator and incarnate Savior (John 1:1-3, 14). As our eternal King, “he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King Of Kings, And Lord Of Lords” (Revelation 19:16). HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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September 16 – Not Alone

O Lord, For You, family and friends I thank You. Thank You I am rich in helpers whom You have provided me. Please help me know my limits and to call for help, especially to have Your Holy Spirit as the standard bearer in my life against the eneny. Amen.

THE RIVER WALK

You run to the armory for your weapons. You inspect the breaks in the walls of Jerusalem. You store up water in the lower pool. You survey the houses and tear some down for stone to strengthen the walls. Between the city walls, you build a reservoir for water from the old pool. But you never ask for help from the One who did all this. You never considered the One who planned this long ago. (Isaiah 22:8-11)

Read: Isaiah 22:1-24:23, Galatians 2:17-3:9, Psalm 60:1-12, Proverbs 23:15-16 

Relate: I hate asking for help. I just hate it. I was raised in a culture and environment where hard work and self sufficiency were virtues. Men are men and they do whatever needs getting done and they don’t walk around with a hand out. They don’t whine about their lot. And they certainly don’t ever show that they are not able to…

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Nuggets – Descriptive attributes of God

Descriptive Attributes of God
“And he said, Men, brethren, and fathers, hearken; The God of glory appeared unto our father Abraham, when he was in Mesopotamia, before he dwelt in Charran.” (Acts 7:2)

There are seven beautiful descriptive attributes of God mentioned in the New Testament. The first was used by Stephen, who called Him “the God of glory” as he gave his defense to the Jewish council just before he was martyred and indeed “saw the glory of God” (Acts 7:2, 55) himself as he finished his testimony.

The apostle Paul later called Him “the God of patience and consolation,” while urging his fellow Christians to be “likeminded one toward another” (Romans 15:5). In the same chapter, he also called Him “the God of hope” in a benedictory prayer: “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing” (Romans 15:13).

To the Christians at Corinth, Paul wrote about “the God of all comfort; Who comforteth us in all our tribulation” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). Then later he wrote that “the God of love” would be with them (2 Corinthians 13:11).

To both the Philippians and the Thessalonians, he wrote about “the God of peace” (Philippians 4:9). “And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).

The seventh of these beautiful descriptions was written by the apostle Peter. “But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you” (1 Peter 5:10).

Recapitulating, in this logical Bible order, these seven beautiful attributes of God (we could almost call them “titles” of God) are as follows: He is the God of glory, the God of patience and consolation, the God of hope, the God of all comfort, the God of love, the God of peace, and the God of all grace! No wonder we can honor and adore Him! HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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All God’s people – Celebrate with joy!

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Nuggets – The serpent in the wilderness

The Serpent in the Wilderness
“And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live.” (Numbers 21:8)

This might seem an incredible story, but it was confirmed by none other than the Lord Jesus Himself: “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:14-15).

A plague of poisonous snakes had infested the camp of Israel, sent as a divine judgment because of their complaints and ingratitude, and many people had died. When they confessed their sin and Moses prayed for their deliverance, God in His grace prescribed this unique remedy.

There is, of course, no naturalistic process that can heal a deadly snakebite merely by a look. Neither, of course, is there a naturalistic explanation for the salvation of a sin-poisoned soul merely by looking with faith upon the crucified Son of man. Both are mighty miracles, with the first being beautifully designed by God to be a prophetic foreshadowing of the other.

The symbolism is striking. The brass serpent impaled on the pole represented the poisonous serpents slain, but it also spoke of “that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan,” eventually cast forever into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:2, 10). Thus, it also symbolized the judgment on sin itself and its final banishment from God’s creation.

All of this, however, was only the symbol. The real deliverance required Christ to be made “sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). The Son of man must be lifted up on the cross, and then all who see Him, and believe, receive life instead of death. HMM

From the Institute for Creation Research

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What I Learned About God from a Paraplegic Mouse

“Mom, Mom. Come quick! I need a piece of cheese!” my son, Jason, exclaimed as he burst through the garage door into the back hall. I looked up from my work at the computer with, no doubt, a puzzled look on my face since the urgency in his voice didn’t match the content of his request.

Scooter

The fact that he’s never been a fan of any kind of cheese added to my confusion. So, I hopped up to meet him for more explanation and quickly discovered that the commotion was due to a tiny little mouse who was sitting on the landing outside the adjacent door. Interceding on its behalf, my son begged me for a morsel to feed him. Against my initial recoil from the idea of a rodent nearby, I told him it was OK to leave a small piece of cheese on the stairs. Certain that the little creature would soon scamper away, I put the incident out of my mind and went back to what I was doing.

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