Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Hannah's Prayer of Thanksgiving

"And Hannah prayed and said, My heart exults in the LORD; my strength is exalted in the LORD.  My mouth derides my enemies, because I rejoice in your salvation.  There is none holy like the LORD; there is none besides you; there is no rock like our God.  Talk no more so very proudly, let not arrogance come from your mouth; for the LORD is a God of knowledge, and by him actions are weighted.  The bows of the mighty are broken, but the feeble bind on strength.  Those who were full have hired themselves out for bread, but those who were hungry have ceased to hunger.  The barren has borne seven, but she who has many children is forlorn.  The LORD kills and brings to life; he brings down to Sheol and raises up.  The LORD makes poor and makes rich; he brings low and he exalts.  He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor.  For the pillars of the earth are the LORD's, and on them he has set the world.  He will guard the feet of his faithful ones, but the wicked shall be cut off in darkness, for not by might shall a man prevail.  The adversaries of the LORD shall be broken to pieces; against them he will thunder in heaven.  The LORD will judge the ends of the earth; he will give strength to his king and exalt the power of his anointed."  1 Samuel 2:1-10 ESV

Explanation for verses 1 Samuel 2:1-10 from the MacArthur Study Bible, page 376:
"2:1-10 in contrast to the prayer that came from her bitterness (1:10),  Hannah prayed from joy in these verses.  The prominent idea in Hannah's prayer is that the Lord is a righteous judge.  He had brought down the proud (Peninnah) and exalted the humble (Hannah).  The prayer has four sections: 1) Hannah prays to the Lord for his salvation.  (2:1-2); 2) Hannah warned the proud of the Lord's humbling (vv. 3-8d); 3) Hannah affirmed the Lord's faithful care for his saints (vv. 8e-9b); 4) Hannah petitioned the Lord to judge the world and to prosper his anointed king (vv. 9c-10e).  This prayer has a number of striking verbal similarities with David's song of 2 Samuel 22:2-51: "strength/stronghold" (1 Sam. 2:1; 22:3), "rock" (2:2; 22:2-3), salvation/deliverer (2:1-2; 22:2-3), Sheol (2:6; 22:6), "thunder" (2:10; 22:14), "king" (2:10; 22:51), and "anointed" (2:10; 22:51)."

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus, I lift up all who are reading Your words today.  Please show the truth to  those who do not know the truth.  I pray that joy will replace any bitterness in the hearts of those who are hurting.  Please heal those who are sick and suffering.  I pray for healing for my mom who is very ill.   I say these things in Jesus' name. Amen.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Some of the "I Am" Statements of Jesus

"Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst."  John 6:35 ESV

"Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, "I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."  John 8:12 ESV

"Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am."  John 8:58 ESV
(Explanation for John 8:58 from the MacArthur Study Bible page 1559:
"8:58  Truly, truly.  See note on 1:51, I am.  See note on 6:22-58.  Here Jesus declared himself to be Yahweh, i.e., the Lord of the Old Testament.  Basic to the expression are such passages as Ex. 3:14; Deut. 32:39; Isa. 41:4; 43:10 where God declared himself to be the eternally pre-existent God who revealed himself in the Old Testament to the Jews.  See also notes on John 8:24, 28.")

"So Jesus again said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.  All who come before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.  I am the door.  If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.  I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.  I am the good shepherd.  The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.  He who is a hired hand and not a shepherd, who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.  He flees because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.  I am the good shepherd.  I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.  And I have other sheep that are not of this fold.  I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice.  So there will be one flock, one shepherd.  For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again.  No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.  I have authority to take it up again.  This charge I have received from my Father."  John 10:7-18 ESV
(Explanation for John 10:7-18 from the MacArthur Study Bible, pages1561-1562:
"10:7-10  I am the door.  This is the third of seven "I am" statements of Jesus, (see 6:35; 8:12).  Here, he changes the metaphor slightly.  while in 10:1-5 he was the shepherd, here he is the gate.  While in vv. 1-5,  the shepherd led the sheep out of the sheepfold, here he is the entrance to the fold (v.9) that lead to proper pasture.  This section echoes Jesus' words in 14:6 that he is the only way to the Father.  His point is that he serves as the sole means to approach the Father and partake of God's promised salvation.  As some Near Eastern shephers slept in the gateway to guard the sheep, Jesus here pictures himself as the gate.
10:9-10  These two verses are a proverbial way of insisting that belief in Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God is the only way of being "saved" from sin and hell and receiving eternal life.  Only Jesus Christ is the one true source for the knowledge of God and the one basis for spiritual security.

10:11-18  Jesus picked up another expression from vv. 1-5, i.e., he is the "good shepherd" in contrast to the present evil leadership of Israel (9:40-41).  This is the fourth of seven "I am" statements of Jesus (see vv. 7, 9: 6:35; 8:12).  The term "good" has the idea of "noble" and stands in contrast to the "hired hand" who cares only for self interest.

10:11 lays down his life for the sheep.  This is a reference to Jesus' substitutionary death for sinners on the cross. Cf. v. 15; 6:51; 11:50-51; 17:19; 18:14.

10:12 sees the wolf coming. . .flees.  The hired hand likely represents religious leaders who perform their duty in good times but who never display sacrifical care for the sheep in times of danger.  They stand in contrast to Jesus, who laid down his life for his flock (see 15:13)

10:16 not of this fold.  This refers to Gentiles who will respond to his voice and become a part of the church (cf. Rom. 1:16).  Jesus' death was not only for Jews (see notes on John 10:1,3), but also for non-Jews whom he will make into one new body, the church (see notes on 11:51-52; cf. Eph. 2:11-22).

10:17-18 take it up again.  Jesus repeated this phrase twice in these two verses indicating that his sacrifical death was not the end. His resurrection followed in demonstration of his messiahship and deity (Rom. 1:4).  His death and resurrection resulted in his ultimate glorification (John 12:23; 17:5) and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (7:37-39; cf. Acts 2:16-39)."

"I and the Father are one."  John 10:30 ESV

"Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life.  Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.  Do you believe this?  She said to him, "Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, who is coming into the world."  John 11:25-27 ESV

"Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me."  John 14:6 ESV
(Explanation for John 14:6 from the MacArthur Study Bible page 1571:
"14:6 This is the sixth "I am" statement of Jesus in John (see 6:35; 8:12; 10:7, 9; 10:11, 14; 11:25; 15:1, 5).  In response to Thomas's query (14:4), Jesus declared that he is the way to God because he is the truth of God (1:14) and the life of God (1:4; 3:15; 11:25).  In this verse, the exclusiveness of Jesus as the only approach to the Father is emphatic.  Only one way, not many ways, exist  to God, i.e., Jesus Christ (10:7-9; cf. Matt. 7:13-14; Luke 13:24; Acts 4:14)."

"I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser."  John 15:1 ESV
(Explanation for John 15:1 from the MacArthur Study Bible, page 1573:
"15:1  I am the true vine.  This is the last of the seven claims to deity in the form of "I am" statements by Jesus in the Gospel of John (see  6:35; 8:12; 10:7, 9; 10:11, 14; 11:25; 14:6)."

"Abide in me, and I in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.  I am the vine, you are the branches.  whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing."  John 15:5 ESV
(Explanation for John 15:4-6 from the MacArthur Study Bible, page 1573:
"15:4-6  Abide in me.  The word "abide" means to remain or stay around.  The "remaining" is evidence that salvation has already taken place (1 John 2:19) and not vice versa.  The fruit or evidence of salvation is continuance in service to him and in his teaching (John 8:31; Col. 1:23,  1John 2:24). The abiding believer is the only legitimate believer.  Abiding and believing actually are addressing the same issue of genuine salvation (Heb. 3:6-19).  For a discussion of the perseverance of the saints, see note on Matt 24:13.)"

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus, I lift up to You those reading Your words.  We worship and honor You and are so grateful for Your sacrifice on the cross.  We do not deserve Your love, but we are humbled that even though we sin You still love us and have provided a way for us to be with You forever.  I pray that You would speak to the unbelievers hearts and that those who are not believers would come to have faith and believe in You as their Lord and Savior.  I say these things in Jesus' name. Amen.

Have a nice day!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Who do You Belong to?

"No one born of God makes a practice of sinning, for God's seed abides in him, and he cannot keep on sinning because he has been born of God.  By this it is evident who are the children of God, and who are the children of the devil: whoever does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor is the one who does not love his brother."  1 John 3:9-10 ESV

Explanation for 1 John 3:9-10 from the MacArthur Study Bible, ESV, page 1919:
"3:9  The fourth reason why Christians cannot practice sin is because it is incompatible with the ministry of the Holy Spirit, who has imparted a new nature to the believer (John 3:5-8).  born of God.  John wrote here of the new birth (John 3:7).  When people become Christians, God makes them new creatures with new natures (2 Cor. 5:17).  Believers have God's characteristics because they have been born into God's family.  This new nature exhibits the habitual character of righteousness produced by the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22-24).  John repeats this phrase twice for emphasis.  God's seed. The new birth involves the acquisition of a seed, which refers to the principle of life of God imparted to the believer at salvation's new birth.  John uses this image of a planted seed to picture the divine element involved in being born again.  See notes on 1 Pet. 1:23-25.  abides. The word conveys the idea of the permanence of the new birth, which cannot be reversed, for those who are truly born again are permanently transformed into a new creation (2 Cor. 5:17; Gal. 6:15; Eph. 2:10).  he cannot keep on sinning. This phrase once again conveys the idea of habitual sinning (see vv. 1 John 3:4, 6).

3:10 This summary verse is the key to vv. 4-10.  Only two kinds of children exist in the world: children of God and children of Satan.  No one can belong to both families simultaneously.  Either one belongs to God's family and exhibits his righteous character or one belongs to Satan's family and exhibits his sinful nature.
3:10b the one who does not love his brother. This phrase introduces the readers to the second aspect of the moral test, i.e., the test of love (as in 2:7-11).  John develops this thought through 3:11-24.  The false teachers not only had an erroneous view of Christ's nature and displayed disobedience to God's commands, but they also displayed a distinct lack of love for true believers, who rejected their heretical teaching."

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus, I lift up those reading Your Word today.  I pray that those reading 1 John 3:9-10 would choose to belong to Jesus.  I pray for the unbelievers--that their hearts would be convicted by the Holy Spirit and that they would see their sin and see the truth that is found only through Jesus in the Bible.  I say these things in Jesus' name. Amen.

Note:  The little children in this painting are children of God.