Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Word Became Flesh (The Gospel of John)

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.  All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.  In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 
There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.  He came as a witness to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him.  He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. 
The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world.  He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him.  He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him.  But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John bore witness about him, and cried out, "This was he of whom I said, He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.")  And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.  For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.  No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father's side, he has made him known."  John 1:1-18 ESV

Explanation on John 1:12-14 from the MacArthur Study Bible, page 1534,
"1:12 all who did receive him, who believed in his name.  The second phrase describes the first.  To receive him who is the Word of God means to acknowledge his claims, place one's faith in him, and thereby yield allegiance to him.  gave.  The term emphasizes the grace of God involved in the gift of salvation (cf. Eph. 2:8-10).  the right.  Those who receive Jesus, the Word, receive full authority to claim the exalted title of "children of God."  his name.  Denotes the character of the person himself.  See note on John 14:13-14.
1:13 of God.  The divine side of salvation: ultimately it is not a man's will that produces salvation but God's will (cf. 3:6-8; Titus 3:5; 1 John2:29).
1:14  the Word became flesh.  While Christ as God was uncreated and eternal (see notes on v. 1), the word "became" emphasizes Christ's taking on humanity (cf. Heb. 1:1-3; 2:14-18).  This reality is surely the most profound ever because it indicates that the infinite became finite; the Eternal was conformed to time; the invisible became visible; the supernatural One reduced himself to the natural.  In the incarnation, however, the Word did not cease to be God but became God in human flesh, i.e., undiminished deity in human form as a man (1 Tim. 3:16). dwelt. Meaning "to pitch a tabernacle," or "live in a tent."  The term recalls to mind the OT tabernacle where God met with Israel before the temple was constructed. (Ex. 25:8).  It was called the "tent of meeting" (Ex. 33:7; "tabernacle of witness"--LXX) where "the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend" (Ex. 33:11).  In the NT, God chose to dwell among his people in a far more personal way through becoming a man.  In the OT, when the tabernacle was completed, God's Shekinah presence filled the entire structure (Ex. 40:34; cf. 1 Kings 8:10).  When the Word became flesh, the glorious presence of deity was embodied in him (cf. Col. 2:9).  we have seen his glory.  Although his deity may have been veiled in human flesh, glimpses exist in the Gospels of his divine majesty.  The disciples saw glimpses of his glory on the Mount of Transfiguration (Matt. 17:1-8).  The reference to Christ's glory, however, was not only visible but also spiritual.  They saw him display the attributes or characteristics of God (grace, goodness, mercy, wisdom, truth, etc.; cf. Ex. 33:18-23).  glory as of...the Father.  Jesus as God displayed the same essential glory as the Father.  They are one in essential nature (cf. John 5:17-30; 8:19; 10:30).  only.  The term "only" has the idea of a singular uniqueness, of being beloved like no other.  By this word, John emphasized the exclusive  character of the relationship between the Father and the Son in the Godhead (cf. 3:16, 18; 1 John 4:9).  It does not connote origin but rather unique prominence; e.g., it was used of Isaac (Heb. 11:17) who was Abraham's second son (Ishmael being the first; cf. Gen. 16:15 with Gen. 21:2-3).  full of grace and truth.  John probably had Ex. 33-34 in mind.  On that occasion, Moses requested that God display his glory to him.  The LORD replied to Moses that he would make all his "goodness" pass before him, and then as he passed by, God declared, "The LORD. . .merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness" (Ex. 33:18-19; 34:5-7).  These attributes of God's glory emphasize the goodness of God's character, especially in relationship to salvation.  Jesus as Yahweh of the OT (John 8:58; "I am") displayed the same divine attributes when he tabernacled among men in the NT era (Col. 2:9)."

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus, I am so grateful that..."In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.  In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it."  Praise God for His beautiful, lovely, gift of salvation.  I pray that all who read God's Word will see His truth and be saved.  In Jesus' name. Amen.
Have a wonderful Sunday everyone!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Mary's Song of Praise: The Magnificat--The Vrigin's Song

Here is the third song in my Songs from the Bible series.

"And Mary said, My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.  For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name.  And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation.  He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty.  He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever."  Luke 1:46-55 ESV 

Explanation for Luke 1:46-55 from the MacArthur Study Bible, page 1475.
"1:46-55 Mary's Magnificat (the first word in the Latin translation; see notes on vv. 68-79; 2:29-32) is filled with OT allusions and quotations.  It reveals that Mary's heart and mind were saturated with the word of God.  It contains repeated echoes of Hannah's prayers, e.g., 1 Sam. 1:11 and 2:1-10.  These verses also contain numerous allusions to the Law, the Psalms, and the Prophets.  The entire passage is a point-by-point reciting of the covenant promises of God.
1:47 my Savior.  Mary referred to God as "Savior," indicating both that she recognized her own need of a Savior, and that she knew the true God as her Savior.  Nothing here or anywhere else in Scripture indicates Mary thought of herself as "immaculate" (free from the taint of original sin).  Quite the opposite is true; she employed language typical of someone whose only hope for salvation is divine grace.  Nothing in this passage lends support to the notion that Mary herself ought to be an object of adoration.
1:48 humble estate.  The quality of Mary that shines most clearly through this passage is a deep sense os humility."

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus,  Thank You Jesus for this day.  Praise be to Your Holy name.  I pray for those who are unsaved.  I ask that You would reveal Yourself to them in a dream.  Please give us Your strength and Your wisdom as we go about our day.  Thank You for Your provision in all things. I say these things in Jesus' name.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The King's Song--He is my Rock and Deliverer

Hi All,  I haven't posted in a long while.  My mom has been very seriously ill.

This devotional is second in a series of "Songs" that are all through the Bible. They are all amazing.   Our pastor spoke of all these "Songs" and I thought it would be nice to share some of them with all of you. 

"And David spoke to the LORD the words of this song on the day when the LORD delivered him from the hand of all his enemies, and from the hand of Saul.  He said, The LORD  is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge, my savior; you save me from violence.  I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.  For the waves of death encompassed me, the torrents of destruction assailed me; the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me.  In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I called.  From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry came to his ears.  Then the earth reeled and rocked; the foundations of the heavens trembled and quaked, because he was angry.  Smoke went up from his nostrils, and devouring fire from his mouth; glowing coals flamed forth from him.  He  bowed the heavens and came down; thick darkness was under his feet.  He rode on a cherub and flew; he was seen on the wings of the wind.  He made darkness around him his canopy, thick clouds, a gathering of water.  Out of the brightness before him coals of fire flamed forth.  The LORD thundered from heaven, and the Most High uttered his voice.  And he sent out arrows and scattered them; lightning, and routed them.  Then the channels of the sea were seen;  the foundations of the world were laid bare, at the rebuke of the LORD, at the blast of the breath of his nostrils.  He sent from on high, he took me; he drew me out of many waters.  He rescued me from my strong enemy; from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me.  They confronted me in the day of my calamity, but the LORD was my support.  He brought me out into a broad place; he rescued me, because he delighted in me.  The LORD dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he rewarded me.  For I have kept the ways of the LORD and have not wickedly departed from my God.  For all his rules were before me, and from his statutes I did not turn aside.  I was blameless before him, and I kept myself from guilt.  And the LORD has rewarded me accouding to my righteousness, according to my cleanness in his sight.  With the merciful you show yourself merciful; with the blameless man you show yourself blameless; with the purified you deal purely, and with the crooked you make yourself seem tortuous.  You save a humble people, but your eyes are on the haughty to bring them down.  For you are my lamp, O LORD, and my God lightens my darkness.  For by you I can run against a troop, and by my God I can leap over a wall.  This God--his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him. For who is God, but the LORD?  And who is a rock, except our God?  This God is my strong refuge and has made my way blameless.  He made my feet like the feet of a deer and set me secure on the heights.  He trains my hands for war, so that my arms can bend a bow of bronze.  You have given me the shield of your salvation, and your gentleness made me great.  You gave a wide place for my steps under me, and my feet did not slip; I pursued my enemies and destroyed them, and did not turn back until they were consumed.  I consumed them; I thrust them through, so that they did not rise; they fell under my feet.  For you equipped me with strength for the battle; you made those who rise against me sink under me.  You made my enemies turn their backs to me, those who hated me, and I destroyed them.  They looked, but there was none to save; they cried to the LORD, but he did not answer them. I beat them fine as the dust of the earth; I crushed them and stamped them down like the mire of the streets.  You delivered me from strife with my people; you kept me as the head of the nations; people whom I had not known served me.  Foreigners came cringing to me; as soon as they heard of me, they obeyed me.  Foreigners lost heart and came trembling out of their fortresses.  The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be my God, the rock of my salvation, the God who gave me vengeance and brought down peoples under me, who brought me out from my enemies, you exalted me above those who rose against me; you delivered me from men of violence.  For this I will praise you O LORD, among the nations, and sing praises to your name.  Great salvation he brings to his king, and shows steadfast love to his anointed, to David and his offspring 'forever'."  2 Samuel 22:1-51 ESV

Explanation from the MacArthur Study Bible 2 Samuel 22:1-51, page 456:
"2 Samuel 22:1-51, David's song of praise here is almost identical to Ps. 18.  This song also has many verbal links to Hannah's prayer (see note on 1 Sam. 2:1-10) and together with it forms the framework for the books of Samuel.  This song focuses on the Lord's deliverance of David from all his enemies, in response to which David praised the Lord, his deliverer (2 Sam. 22:2-4).  The major part of the song (vv.5-46) states the reason for this praise of the Lord. David first describes how the Lord had delivered him from his enemies (vv. 5-20), then declares why the Lord had delivered him from his enemies (vv. 21-28), then states the extent of the Lord's deliverance from his enemies (vv. 29-46).  The song concludes with David's resolve to praise his delivering Lord, even among the Gentiles (vv. 47-51).  See notes on Ps. 18:1-50 for a more detailed explanation."

Let's pray:  Dear Lord Jesus,  Thank You for being our Rock and Salvation and for delivering us from evil.  I pray that You will reveal Yourself to those who do not know You.  I pray that You will be their Rock and Salvation and Deliverer.  Thank You for helping my mom, please continue to heal her.  Praise be to Your name.  I say these things in Jesus' name. Amen.