Re:Verse passage – Romans 8:1-4 (day five) For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.
The work of the Holy Spirit is integral in salvation. In this week’s Re:Verse passage, Paul lays out 2 aspects of this work. First, we are saved from the penalty of sin. No condemnation and Freedom from the law of sin and death. Second, we are saved from the power of sin. Life in the Spirit brings righteousness. Sin’s effect and influence are in direct opposition and conflict with the Spirit. The Sprit brings the opportunity and capability to glorify God through our living “in the Spirit”. The Spirit’s power is greater.
Thank God for His work and provision through the Holy Spirit to save us.
Re:Verse passage – Acts 1:8 (day five)
What do you suppose the attitudes and mindsets of disciples were like as they waited for the Holy Spirit? Frightened? Anxious? Hesitant? Sad? Luke tells us in chapter 24 of his gospel that in fact, they were filled with joy, faithfully worshipping and praising God. Yet, God was sending something through the Holy Spirit. What was it? They were doing pretty well. They were comfortable and in a good place spiritually. God sends them “power” through the Holy Spirit. This power looked like conviction- they would be convinced and passionate they needed to testify about Jesus to anyone and everyone. This power looked like courage- they would be ok, being unpopular (Jerusalem/Judea), unwelcome (Samaria), and in unfamiliar places (remotest part of the earth).
Seems like these days, we are in a spiritually complacent and comfortable nation. May God send us power through the Holy Spirit, to be His witnesses that we might risk being unpopular, unwelcome, and eager to serve in unfamiliar places for Glory of God and the spread of the Gospel!
Re:Verse passage – John 1:29-34 (day five). “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!”
These days, people don’t need to be convinced that the world is broken. We see it in the news. Something is wrong. We feel it in our souls. Something is wrong with us (humanity). The scripture continually points to sin as the root and cause of it all. We all have sinned. That is why we all feel the weight and burden of the broken world. That is why we don’t love and care for one another as we should. That is why we can name a thousand things that are wrong with us and the world. But there is good news!! God knows how big and how destructive sin is. That is why Jesus came. Look at the scope of Jesus mission- the sins of THE WORLD. All of it- the habits, hatred, failures, wickedness, idolatry, and selfishness. Jesus came to take it away through repentance and forgiveness.
Anyone want that today? Anyone need that today? Thank God for this good news!!
Re:Verse passage – Mark 11:11-19 (day five) He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And His disciples were listening.
What was Jesus so angry about? What was it about that tree which caused Him to curse it? Jesus the Master Teacher was at it again. He was using the tree as an object lesson. What was the lesson? The danger and disgust of hypocrisy. There was a season for fig trees to bear fruit. However, scholars allow for some species of trees to bear fruit outside the normal season. So, the test for finding fruit was not the season, but rather the foliage of the tree. It “appeared” to be producing fruit when in actuality, it wasn’t. Jesus again uses an object lesson to communicate a spiritual lesson on hypocrisy. The same lesson He has taught over and over. See Luke 12:1, Matthew 23:27. Jesus looks past the appearance and into the the heart of man. Leaves are not enough.
Re:Verse passage – Mark 1:1-8 (day five)
And so John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. – Mark 1:4
Did you notice the moon last night? Big. Beautiful. Full. What about back in April? There was a supermoon on April 6. It was a little brighter and a little bigger because it was closer than normal to the earth. One thing we can say about the moon is that, “it glorifies the sun”. Think about it… The moon gets it light from the sun. The moon is dependent on the sun to be seen or noticed the best. The moon declares the power of the sun. What we can see and observe (especially with the naked eye) can only be done so because of the sun. When we see the moon it is because the sun is shining on it.
John the Baptist was glorifying God. He was proclaiming God’s power and His promises. He was declaring the truth about God. His ministry was effective and meaningful because God was shining on him (anointing). He was speaking God’s words and pointing people to Jesus.
We have the same opportunity- speaking God’s words, talking about Who He is and What He’s done for us, and pointing people to Jesus. Let’s glorify God today!!
Re:Verse passage – Daniel 12:1-13 (day five) “As for you, go your way till the end. You will rest, and then at the end of the days you will rise to receive your allotted inheritance.”
Does the future frighten you? Pandemic? Economy? Return to “normalcy”?
Daniel is reminded of a delicate balance that helps bring perspective and hope. The balance between “the now” and “the future”. What he believes about life now and what he believes about the future are both important. Daniel is reminded that there is service, ministry, and mission to be accomplished now (today). He is also keenly aware that the future finally finds its end with the reign of the Lord and rest of the people. Perhaps our fears of the future would be eased somewhat if we looked far enough to see this picture of the very end.
The lesson Daniel learned in this balance helps us in the present and in the future. God does not forget. He remembers and reminds His children of His faithfulness for the future and His nearness and involvement in each human life in the present.
One takeaway from the book of Daniel is that from the present moment till the end of time, God does not forget which means His children will not be lost in the shuffle (now and forever).
Re:Verse passage – Daniel 11:1-45 (day four) “And now I will tell you the truth:” Chapter 11 is distinctively different than the rest of the book. No visions. No dreams. No pictures. Just words. Did reading Daniel’s spoken apocalypse (chapter 11) feel different without any visual content? Our culture has shifted to place for more importance on the visual rather than the verbal. Perhaps the influence of TV and computers. In fact, a nickname for a younger generation is “digitals”. Have we come to value what is seen more than what is spoken? Sounds like Thomas (unless I see, I won’t believe). In God’s economy, the verbal (words) matters more than the visual (visions, pictures). “Faith comes from hearing”. Pictures, visions, and examples are all important, but not more than the words that accompany them. Words bring clarity and certainty. God please speak to us that we might hear, trust, and obey!!
Re:Verse passage – Daniel 10:1-21 (day five)
“Then behold, a hand touched me and set me trembling on my hands and knees…And behold, one who resembled a human being was touching my lips;”
Many people believe that all religions are essentially the same, in that they are all climbing the same mountain using different paths to reach the same God. The problem with this perspective is that it ignores the uniqueness of the Living God of Biblical Christianity. While this belief may be accurate of other religions, the Living God of Biblical Christianity doesn’t wait for man to get to Him (climb to the top of the mountain). He comes to man bringing mercy, grace, redemption, and restoration- most clearly through Jesus Christ.
Do you remember when and where God came to you and brought salvation and new life through Christ ? Do you have experiences when God comes near with forgiveness and restoration through confession and repentance? This is the God of the scriptures. He comes near. He saves. He restores. He guides.
Re:Verse passage – Daniel 9:23-27 (day five)
Throughout the book of Daniel we are presented with a tension that we must not only recognize but navigate. The tension is caused by the very nature and character of God being in relationship with man- powerful/personal, sovereign/intimate, immediate/eternal.
Daniel has experienced God dealing in his daily circumstances. Daniel has also experienced God’s glory and seen His everlasting splendor. We must do the same. We must look to God for daily strength and guidance while knowing He has created and controls the world (present and future). The challenge for the human heart and mind is to hold onto both ends of the tension. To praise and request. To worship and to obey.
(Lyrics from a new song I’m singing these days)
Who can spin the world around
And hold me ever close
Who can search the depths of me
And love me to the core
Who controls the world I see
And walks me through it all
Re:Verse passage – Daniel 9:1-23 (day five) Now while I was speaking and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God in behalf of the holy mountain of my God.
One of the opportunities we have in this season of quarantine, is solitude. God has slowed us down. There is room now for deep meaningful individual and personal reflection, study, and prayer. Those times with God are designed to be sweet, intimate, and powerful. Daniel experienced a personal and dynamic relationship with God. Yet, even in isolation he carries a burden for the people of God. We must pray I/We prayers. Personal and corporate. Individual and community. My concern is that members in our family of faith will be seen only as windows on a zoom conference- that through virtual community, we might somehow lose our passion to bear one another’s burden. They must be on your heart. We must call out their names to the Living and Holy God. This week as you pray (personally), will you also pray for your class and church. Will you let them know of your love and deep concern? May we love the Lord and each other well!