The Lord, our Rock

The Lord, our Rock

The Lord Jesus, is our Rock and our salvation.  The Bible refers to the Rock, our Savior, in several passages.  Here are just a handful.

The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be my God, the Rock, my Savior!  (2 Sam 22:47)

The Lord lives! Blessed be my Rock! Let the God of my salvation be exalted.  (Ps 18:46)

Blessed be the Lord my Rock, Who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle—  (Ps 144:1)

. . . and all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.  (1 Cor 10:4)

 And “A stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.” They stumble, being disobedient to the word, to which they also were appointed.  (1 Pet 2:8)

When the Israelites were in the wilderness, the Lord gave them water from a rock to quench their thirst and to meet their needs.  (Neh 9:15; Isa 48:21)  The Lord proved Himself more than once to His people as their Provider and their Deliverer.

As the Bible passage shown above demonstrate, Christ is called the Rock, our Savior.

In this day and age, many are offended at the gospel of Jesus Christ.  That is why He is also prophesied to be “a stone of stumbling and a rock of offense.”  There are so many religions and ideologies being espoused around the world, that the true path to salvation can be obscured and undermined.  Present-day Christianity is under attack.

Jesus was considered a criminal and a blasphemer—so as His followers, we can’t expect much better treatment than what our Lord received.  His sentence, unjust though it clearly was, was death.  Pilate was so disturbed by it that he washed his hands of all responsibility for it. 

However, the Lord lives!  Hallelujah!  We drink in His glory, holiness, and goodness.  We are made righteous by the sacrifices that Jesus made on our behalf.  We are reconciled to our Father God, and have a multitude of reasons to exalt and to praise the Lord!

Remember that the Rock is our foundation for faith and for eternal life!

Christ is in Heaven on our Behalf

Christ is in Heaven on our Behalf

For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.  (Heb 9:24 ESV, underscoring added)

It is helpful to ponder the truth that Christ is in Heaven right now, representing and upholding all believers.  He is our Advocate!  (1 Joh 2)

. . .  that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, 21 far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. 22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church . . . (Eph 1:20-22 ESV) Jesus Christ is the head of the church.  He is the Lamb of God who has poured out His blood on the mercy seat–for us. (Joh 1:36; 1 Pet 1:19; Rev 7:14; 22:1)

So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.   (Mk 16:19 NKJV)  Jesus is now seated at the right hand of God.

He saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor; therefore His own arm brought salvation for Him; and His own righteousness, it sustained Him.  (Isa 59:16)  Jesus is our intercessor in heaven.  He is our agent in heavenly realms.

For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus . . . (1 Tim 2:5) Jesus is both God and man.  He is the only mediator between God and men.  A mediator is a peacemaker, and Jesus has brought about peace between God the Father and all who are born-again.

My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.  (1 Joh 2:1)  Jesus Christ, the righteous One of God, is our Advocate with the Father.  In Heaven Jesus pleads our case, and works to effect reconciliation between us and Father God.  He also, as our Savior and Redeemer, affirms that He has purchased all of salvation’s blessings for us, and thanks to Him, we are entitled to them.

Jesus is your champion and crusader!  Stand and give thanks and praise to the Lord today, brothers and sisters!

Unjust Suffering

Unjust Suffering

The Bible gives us notice in numerous passages that followers of Jesus Christ will experience unjust suffering.  We are told that any suffering that we go through is not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us!  (Rom 8:18)

Christ suffered for us, and He left us this as an example, so that we would follow in His steps—being forewarned.  (1 Pet 2:21)

For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God.  (1 Pet 2:19 NIV)

But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed.  (1 Pet 3:14a)

Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.  (2 Tim 3:12)

These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.  (Joh 16:33)

In all situations of life, we can never be separated from the love of God for us.  (Rom 8:35)  God promises to comfort us in all of our troubles.  (1 Cor 1:3-4)  These passages of the Scripture are meant to support us and to encourage us when we suffer.

Our perseverance in suffering, holding on to our faith in Christ, proves the genuineness of our faith according to the Word of God.  (1 Pet 1:6-7) 

We are told to count it a joy when we face many and various types of trials. (Jas 1:2-4, see also Rom 5:3-5) 

Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.  (Mt 5:10-12)

Prepare your heart, mind, and will to follow Jesus in every circumstance; and when you arrive in eternity, you will be filled with rejoicing and extreme thankfulness that you did.

Jesus, the Root, Destined to Reign

Jesus, the Root, Destined to Reign

These various passages of Scripture referring to Jesus as a “root,” “root of Jesse,” and “root of David” are all referring to one Person:   Jesus, our Savior and Redeemer. 

But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”  (Rev 5:5) 

There shall come forth a Rod from the stem of Jesse, and a Branch shall grow out of his roots.  (Isa 11:1)

“And in that day there shall be a Root of Jesse, Who shall stand as a banner to the people; for the Gentiles shall seek Him, and His resting place shall be glorious.”  (Isa 11:10)

For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, and as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; and when we see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him.  (Isa 53:2)

And again, Isaiah says: “There shall be a root of Jesse; and He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, in Him the Gentiles shall hope.”  (Rom 15:12)

These various designations signify that Jesus is a descendant of both Jesse (David’s father), and of King David. 

Jesus is also a member of the tribe of Judah, which is why He is referred to as the “Lion of the tribe of Judah.”  Judah means “praise,” and it is also the tribe out of which Kings were born.  The Bible reveals Jesus’ bloodline dating back to Jacob, of the House of David. 

In Romans 5, the Bible clearly states that “the root of Jesse” who rises up to reign over the Gentiles, in Him shall the Gentiles hope.  We acknowledge that we have a Covenant-keeping God who is committed to drawing all people to Himself through Christ and His cross! (John 12:32)  The Lord is drawing all people—not only Jews, but Gentiles as well—to Himself.

The Lord is reconciling all people to Himself through His cross! (Col.1:15-20)  The Father God will unite all people under Christ’s loving authority when the eras have reached their fulfillment! (Eph. 1:9-11)  Hallelujah!

The Weapons of our Warfare

The Weapons of our Warfare

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.  (2 Cor 10:4 – emphasis added)

. . . that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.  (2 Tim 3:14)  As we study the Bible, the Lord helps us to become mature and to equip us for every good work.

Weak men we may be; but it is not as such that we fight our battles. (2 Cor 10:3 NEB)  We don’t have the mindset of being weak; but rather, we fight because we have a supernaturally mighty friend in Jesus, our Savior. 

What are our weapons?  Our weapons are the Word of God; prayer; preaching the Gospel and teaching the Word of God to all who are hungry.

The Holy Spirit is our Helper, and He accesses the power of God on our behalf. (Zech 4:6)

Paul did not use violence; psychological maneuvering; a crusade of lies against his enemies; political power; money; or denominational loyalty as weapons.  Paul used the spiritual weapons that were at his disposal, revealed to Him by God.

The same weapons that were available to the apostle Paul are available to each one of us today.  Pick up the sword of the Spirit (the Word of God) and study to show yourself approved as one who “rightly divides the word of truth.”  (2 Tim 2:15)

We Are Servants

We Are Servants

Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.  Moreover, it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.  (! Cor 4:1-2)

James, a bondservant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad . . .  (Jas 1:1)

“These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.”  (Act 16:17)

. . . just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”  (Mt 20:28)

As shown in Matthew chapter 20, Jesus came to serve humanity—He came as a servant.  Jesus came to reconcile mankind to His loving Father, and how thankful we are for His completed work. 

The Bible tells us that Jesus is our example.  (1 Pet 2:21)  Since He lived to serve humanity (which means people), so also should we!   Let’s admit that God saved us to empower us to serve others. 

How may we serve other people in meaningful ways which bring glory to God?

  • Hold onto and teach others sound doctrine. (Tit 1:9; 2:1)
  • Perform good works/deeds for other people so that people will give glory to God for them. (Mt 5:16; Eph 2:10)
  • Be LIGHT in the world. (Mt 5:14)  Jesus says in John 8:12 that He is the light of the world.  As believers, we are to allow the light of Christ within us to shine forth to all.
  • Live honorably. (1 Pet 2:12)
  • Be faithful. (Mt 25:23)
  • Use your gifts, skills, and passions to serve within the body of Christ. (Rom 12:4-6; 1 Cor 12:27-28)

Living our lives as an offering and a sacrifice to the Lord—in service to others—is not only honorable; it is very satisfying.  God bless you.