Next week will include some review but we move forward to the 5 poetical books and the 17 prophetical books of the Old Testament.
Again allow this to add to your own study as you go through this outline of the Old Testament books.
Here is a suggested word study on "thanks" from Paul's epistles. This doesn't contain every verse for this Greek word but there are many listed for your meditation. A good devotion would be to write down each of the things for which Paul gives thanks, and use them as a guide during this Thanksgiving season. It could even be something you might share at one of the meals with the family.
Rom. 1:8 ¶ First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world.
Rom. 1:21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
Rom. 14:6 He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord, and he who eats, does so for the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who eats not, for the Lord he does not eat, and gives thanks to God.
Rom. 16:4 who for my life risked their own necks, to whom not only do I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles;
1Cor. 1:4 ¶ I thank my God always concerning you for the grace of God which was given you in Christ Jesus,
1Cor. 1:14 I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius,
1Cor. 10:30 If I partake with thankfulness, why am I slandered concerning that for which I give thanks?
1Cor. 11:24 and when He had given thanks, He broke it and said, “This is My body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
1Cor. 14:17 For you are giving thanks well enough, but the other person is not edified.
2Cor. 1:11 you also joining in helping us through your prayers, so that thanks may be given by many persons on our behalf for the favor bestowed on us through the prayers of many.
Eph. 1:16 do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers;
Eph. 5:20 always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father;
Phil. 1:3 ¶ I thank my God in all my remembrance of you,
Col. 1:3 ¶ We give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
Col. 1:12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.
Col. 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.
Col. 3:17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
1Th. 1:2 ¶ We give thanks to God always for all of you, making mention of you in our prayers;
1Th. 2:13 ¶ For this reason we also constantly thank God that when you received the word of God which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men, but for what it really is, the word of God, which also performs its work in you who believe.
1Th. 5:18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
2Th. 1:3 ¶ We ought always to give thanks to God for you, brethren, as is only fitting, because your faith is greatly enlarged, and the love of each one of you toward one another grows ever greater;
2Th. 2:13 ¶ But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.
Philem. 4 ¶ I thank my God always, making mention of you in my prayers,
"The Church has surrendered her once lofty concept of God and has substituted for it one so low, so ignoble, as to be utterly unworthy of thinking worshiping men. This she has done not deliberately, but little by little and without her knowledge; and her very unawareness only makes her situation all the more tragic.
The low view of God entertained almost universally among Christians is the cause of a hundred lesser evils everywhere among us. A whole new philosophy of the Christian life has resulted from this one basic error in our religious thinking.
With our loss of the sense of majesty has come the further loss of religious awe and consciousness of the divine Presence.
We have lost our spirit of worship and our ability to withdraw inwardly to meet God in adoring silence. Modern Christianity is simply not producing the kind of Christian who can appreciate or experience the life in the Spirit. The words, "Be still and know that I am God," mean next to nothing to the self-confident, bustling worshipper in the middle period of the twentieth century.
What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.
…We tend by a secret law of the soul to move toward our mental image of God. This is true not only of the individual Christian, but of the company of Christians that compose the Church. Always the most revealing thing about the Church is her idea of God, just as her most significant message is what she says about Him or leaves unsaid, for her silence is often more eloquent than her speech. She can never escape the self-disclosure of her witness concerning God."
Folks it is so true what A.W. Tozer says and writes about the modern day church in America. Do we truly understand that God is serious about His glory, to the point of the crucifixion of His only begotten Son on the cross? Are we really living in such a way that when others see through the lens of our lives, Christ is demonstrated as great? It is easy to go to a church week in and week out and look the part. But I am asking in your day to day lives, up close and personal, what does the spouse say, the children and those in your sphere of influence as it relates to God's glory.
Therefore during the last 3 weeks we have been studying the theme of the Bible which I have argued is the "glory of God." It has been my goal through the Scriptures for us to see God as He presents Himself to us in the Bible. We are only laying the foundation in regard to the glory of God right now but later will come to how to apply this to our lives.
Please remember that correct doctrine leads to correct living, which means wrong
doctrine leads to wrong living.
Many in the church across America have a view of Jesus sitting around a campfire with marsh mellows sharing a cup of hot chocolate or a mocha latte telling us how much we are loved. Well after 3 weeks into the glory of God allow me to ask you the following question:
Do you feel most loved because God makes much of you?
Or do you feel most loved by God because at the cost of His Son, at the cross, He has graciously allowed you to make much of Himself? Read More...
Also in our “Back to the Bible” basics during the last 14 weeks I have been asked about the emerging church. It seems that when a culture becomes “man-centered” it impacts greatly how he reads the Bible. Instead of trying to understand what the author meant by what he wrote, we get to determine now what the Bible means to us.
Therefore I have provide a short audio clip from Dr. John MacArthur on what is this new emerging church philosophy and its impact on reading the Bible.
Read and meditate on Amos 8:11 - "Behold, days are coming declares the Lord God, when I will send a famine on the land, not a famine for bread or a thirst for water, but rather for hearing the words of the LORD." Take an in depth look across the landscape of the American church. Do we have an army of radical disciples for Christ Jesus? Are we as the people of God back into the word of God in such a way that the word of God is back into us? And if we have in fact been negligent of the living word, of the living God, then should we be surprised that we are not deeply rooted in the "glory of God."
Brothers and sisters in Christ, these are days in which Biblical discernment is at a premium. Charles Spurgeon once said "discernment is not simply a matter of telling the difference between what is right and wrong; rather it is the difference between right and almost right." Our culture is screaming tolerance as it embraces a pluralism of all paths lead to God. But the gospel we are called to preach stands in stark contrast to a culture that is demanding us as the church to be relevant. Jesus Christ did not die in order for us, as the church, to be seeker-friendly. But, rather, Christ died to pay the penalty for sins and impute His own righteousness to any man, woman, boy or girl that would cast themselves at the mercy of the cross, through faith alone by grace alone. The Christ-crucified message of the gospel is the very thing that ultimately brings glory to God. And as we will see in Romans 3:21-26, which many theologians have called the greatest paragraph in all the Bible, Christ died to demonstrate the righteousness of God. I, in my limited Greek and study of this verse, may phrase it as follows: the death of Christ on the cross was the most right thing that God has ever done to uphold the glory and honor of His name! So if you want to consider what God has been doing in eternity past, and will continue to do into eternity future, I think it is safe to conclude whatever He does will be for the glory of His name.
The real question we need to determine in our hearts and minds is simply this; are we living our lives in alignment with the very purpose of God? Folks, what you ultimately believe will determine how you behave. Therefore as we study the Scriptures I will always attempt to bring us back to a sound Biblical view of the cross. As Dr. Piper has coined so effectively in the following phrase; “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in Him.” And I know at no other place that the source of our satisfaction needs to be greater than at the cross of Christ. A sound category of the glory of God will be Biblically rooted in Christ crucified.
We will study the glory of God as it relates to:
and we will see that all these categories for glory drives us to the Lord Jesus Christ. How will we know Him, love Him, serve Him and live to the glory of Him without the ongoing study of His word? Can a person be any closer to Christ than they are to His word? Therefore our strategy this year is to have an ever increasing relationship with God's word. And as that occurs, the Spirit of God will reveal, guide and transform us from one degree of glory to the next into the likeness of Christ. Which means that as God becomes more glorified in and through us then we will continue to become more and more satisfied in Him. As grace lands and joy rises the love overflows in such a way into the lives of those God has put in our sphere of influence that Jesus looks great. This is godly living which is rooted in faith alone by grace alone in Christ alone! Amen.
Nancy and I had the opportunity to have dinner with Pastor Russ and Carol last night. It has been a tremendous privilege for me to work so closely with Russ over the last 10 years in ministry. Even though we have ministered in different places over that period of time we have always remained in close contact. Both Russ and Carol have such a great heart for ministry and what great friends and mentors for Nancy and me. As you might have guessed I have accumulated a number of “Papa Russ” stories over the years. Even last night I was reminded that when going out to eat with Russ, I always drive his car. Just another “Papa Russ” story that I am waiting to tell when the opportunity is right. Bottom line, these are salt of the earth and light of the world kind of folks. Every time Nancy and I are around them we feel encouraged and upbeat about giving our lives to build the kingdom. And whenever I am out with Papa Russ my camera is never far away. Thanks for all the ministry Pastor Russ and Carol, we love you guys!
Look with me for a few minutes at John 1:14.
"And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth."
Notice that the word for "Word" is in caps when it comes through in the NASB translation. And we know the translators are telling us that Jesus is the word. In Greek it is the word "logos." This is "the Word" that has been sent to us from heaven. Also we recognize it comes from above and not below, from outside of us and not inside of us. It is a category we will label as being logos or word-centered. But wouldn't you know there is a competing category which is gnostic centered (gnosis the Greek word for knowledge).
This is where we find the essence of gnosticism, which is an attempt by man through his knowledge to reach God. The danger of being gnostic or knowledge centered is that man will attempt by his own wisdom to redefine God. Whereas logos centered is that from outside of us, the gnostic centered is that which arises from inside of us. The one category is God-centered and brings glory to God and the other is man-centered and brings glory to man.
STOP-LOOK-LISTEN Can you think of an immediate application? Let me give you an example from my own life. This may sound silly to others but this is the way it works in our home. The dishwasher is full of clean dishes, Nancy has been out running errands for the family all day. So I come downstairs notice that it needs to be cleaned out. As I start into that very act of cleaning it out, what is the motive of my heart? Well let's keep going in the story and see if you can discern. Nancy arrives home and within 5 minutes I make a quick passing comment, by the way, it must be spoken at an audio level that is barely able to be heard, "hey hon I took care of the dishwasher while you were out." As Nancy would tell you, when I do something like that I want everything in the house to stop, NEON lights to flash and start the ticker tape parade. I over exaggerate to make the point. There have been many times where my motive is to be applauded, appreciated and admired for the act or service done. Yes that is man-centered and from God's perspective qualifies as sin that needs confession and repentance.
Jesus becomes a man, can you get your mind around this statement God Himself becomes a man. And Jesus as fully God and fully man comes to planet earth to dwell among us. The word of dwell in this verse is the Greek word "skenoo" and it means tabernacle. Let me do a bit of a paraphrase "The word became flesh and tabernacled among us..." As you read through the Old Testament and come to Exodus 35 you will find the instructions that God gave to Moses for the building of the Tabernacle. It is this very tabernacle in the wildnerness of the Old Testament that points us toward Jesus that would one day tabernacle among us!
Keep reading and notice that the apostle John writes that they saw His glory which was full of grace and truth.
STOP-LOOK-LISTEN Can you think of an application?
Is that others would describe your life as they have interaction with you? Well the one thing I can say about this man or woman is they are both gracious and truthful. Isn't that what the Lord Jesus was perfectly, as observed and described by His disciples? Jesus wasn't part grace and part truth instead He was all of both. How many times in my parenting have I been truth based with my kids to the point of all do's and do nots. And then I will go over at times to the other extreme and be lenient to the point of no accountability at all. It seems I often find myself in the extremes (all truth or all grace) instead of being all of both.
What do you think it would have been like to observe the first 30 years in the life of Jesus while on planet earth? Think of all the basic day to day activities in life. The Lord Jesus washed clothes, did carpentry work, read the Bible, times of prayer, and had many conversation with people as He grew up. And in everthing that He thought, everything that He spoke and all that He did was to the glory of His Father in heaven. Try and get your mind around this statement. Jesus Christ who was was fully God and fully man never spoke or acted on His own initiative, but 24/7 only spoke and did exactly what God told Him to do. And when the disciples saw that up close and personal as they were discipled by Christ Himself, what they saw was the glory of God!
STOP-LOOK-LISTEN Can you think of an application?
Are my thoughts God-centered or me-centered as I make this phone call to my customer?
Are my actions God-centered or me-centered as I clean up the kitchen this afternoon?
Are my words in response to an attack on me going to be God-centered or me-centered?
The glory of God from the fall of Adam has been in full competition with the glory of man (logos centered vs. gnostic centered). At the tower of Babel that we read about in Genesis 11:1-4 we can see it manifested in man wanting to make a name for himself. It was true back then and it is true today. But God chose Abram in the very next Chapter of Genesis 12 and says I will make My name great through you. Consider the following question: Am I trying to make a name for myself in order that I can get the glory, or am I allowing God to make a name for Himself through me so that He can receive the glory?
So with that in mind, pastor B. has a homework assignment for you. This is a little exercise that I think will help you build a strong category for the "glory of God". I am going to list the verse and then would like you to look them up, meditate and then try assign a label as you come to the verse in the Bible. For example those that are when the people of Israel are in Babylon you might want to label as "while in exile." When you get to Philippians 1 the label assigned my best be called "sanctification.” My point is that you try and label it in a way that best brings it to your memory. This also would also be a good time to add your own verses as you do Bible reading and study. READ ALL VERSES IN THEIR CONTEXT
- Habakkuk 2:14
- Numbers 14:21
- 1 Samuel 12:19-23
- 2 Thessalonians 1:9-10
- John 1:14
- Romans 15:3
- Ezekiel 20:21-22
- Isaiah 48:9-11
- Romans 3:23-26
- Philippians 1:9-11
- Ezekiel 20:6-9
- 2 Samuel 7:23
- 1 Kings 8:41-44
- 2 Kings 19:34
- 2 Kings 20:6
- Zechariah 2:5
- Haggai 1:8
- John 17:4
- John 12:27-28
- 1 Corinthians 10:31
- 2 Corinthians 4:6
- 1 Peter 4:11
- Matthew 5:16
- Jeremiah 13:11
- Isaiah 49:3
- Romans 9:17
- Psalm 25:11
- Psalm 23
- Revelation 15:8
- Revelation 21:23
As you read, study and have devotion time I think you will find how passionate God is about the glory of His name. Of course we don’t just want to read and move on but to ask the Holy Spirit to reveal truth to us about God’s glory.
QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:
- So do you think God has created us because it was a cleaver strategy in order for the Trinity to get more glory?
- Can the triune God be more glorious?
- So does God create out of some unmet need or from His abundant overflow?
- Why should God allow you and me to share in His glory?
- What does it really mean for us to glorify Him?
1. What is the goal of God in the creation and governing of this world? (learn)
2. How do we bring our lives into conformity with that goal? (live)
Obviously God’s goal is to glorify Himself in all that He does but are we living to glorify God in all that we do?
At this point we are only answering question #1 from Scripture but eventually we will get to question #2. Last week we covered the glory of God from predestination (Ephesian 1:3-14) to evacuation of the Israelites from Egypt (Psalm 106:7-8). I am hoping and praying that you are reading and meditation on these verses and this all important principle. This coming week should complete our overview as we will move from evacuation to consummation of God’s glory (2 Thessalonians 1:9-10). For those of you reading through the entire Bible this year pay particular attention to the glory of God. As a matter of fact I suggest you get a journal and start to record each Scripture reference that specifically points to the glory of God.
Everything that God does, He does for the glory of His name. Yesterday in class we started into some of the foundational pieces in this principle #5 on our tour of the Bible. This particular truth is very important to pray about, meditate on and to take some time for study. I think you will find that from predestination (eternity past) all the way to consummation (eternity future) God is doing all that He is doing for His glory. In preparation for this coming Sunday I am going to take us through many verses of Scripture that I believe will support this statement as to the purpose of the Bible. Below I have listed the verses I am planning to cover on Sunday. Please don’t get frustrated if we don’t spend much time on these verses, as we will be coming back to many of them later for in depth study.
* Predestination (Ephesians 1:6, 12, 14)
* Creation (Isaiah 43:6)
* The rescuing of the Israelites from Egypt (Psalm 106:7-8)
* The power and influence of Pharaoh (Exodus 9:16)
* The continuous rebelling of Israel in the wilderness (Ezk.20:6-9)
* The promise of God to bring Israel back into the land (Is. 48:9-11)
* Incarnation (John 1:14, Romans 15:8-9)
* Propitiation (Romans 3:23-26)
* Sanctification (Philippians 1:9-11)
* Consumation (2 Thessalonians 1:9-10)
As always when you read sections of Scripture read them in context. Read what is in the previous paragraph that leads to this and also what come after it. I am hoping and praying this will be one of the most significant illuminations you receive from the Spirit as you read the Bible this year. This particular subject has been on my study plate for a number of years. Now think with me in terms of application. If the purpose of the Bible and God Himself is His glory then what should be the purpose of our lives? Well the correct answer according to Scripture would be for us to reflect, display and magnify the glory of God in our own lives. Again remember we want to magnify like a telescope and not a microscope. A microscope takes things that are very little and makes them very large and we can't do that with God because we can't make Him more glorious than He already is. But a telescope takes that which is far away. And trust me on this leadership team, in Charlotte, for many people, the Jesus Christ of the Bible is very, very far away. Therefore when you look through a telescope at a star that is far away you start to be able to see that star as it really is. And in that regard we need to be a telescope so that when people look through the lens of our life they can see Jesus up close and personal.
1. God does everything that He does for His own glory. And in the Bible there is much support for this statement but for now just think it over. God is constantly in the business of displaying and magnifying Himself.
2. Since God does it this way, He in fact preserves for mankind the best thing that we could ever have or want which is Himself. Because God is the one thing and the only thing in the universe that can genuinely scratch the itch in the soul of man.
3. God does not just offer but rather demands that we rejoice, delight and be satisfied in Him!
The overarching strategy in life is to have a clear understanding of God's "why" or His purpose as we come to the Bible. It only make sense that we should align ourselves and our lives under the plumb line of His purpose, which is HIs glory. Therefore our objective is to live daily, in such a way, that when people in our sphere of influence here us speak and watch us act, they see a demonstration of the greatness and exaltation of the Lord Jesus Christ!
“The glory of God is the beauty and excellence of his manifold perfections. It is an attempt to put into words what God is like in his magnificence and purity. It refers to his infinite and overflowing fullness of all that is good. The term might focus on his different attributes from time to time—like his power and wisdom and mercy and justice—because each one is indeed awesome and beautiful in its magnitude and quality. But in general God's glory is the perfect harmony of all his attributes into one infinitely beautiful and personal being.”
May I encourage each of us to prepare our hearts for this particular subject on Sunday which is truly one of the key essentials to understand in our Bible reading, devotion and study.
THE GLORY OF GOD
THE EXODUS FROM EGYPT
Ezek. 20:6 on that day I swore to them, to bring them out from the land of Egypt into a land that I had selected for them, flowing with milk and honey, which is the glory of all lands.
Ezek. 20:7 “I said to them, ‘Cast away, each of you, the detestable things of his eyes, and do not defile yourselves with the idols of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.’
Ezek. 20:8 “But they rebelled against Me and were not willing to listen to Me; they did not cast away the detestable things of their eyes, nor did they forsake the idols of Egypt.
Then I resolved to pour out My wrath on them, to accomplish My anger against them in the midst of the land of Egypt.
Ezek. 20:9 “But I acted for the sake of My name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made Myself known to them by bringing them out of the land of Egypt.
Psalm 106:6-8 - We have sinned like our fathers,We have committed iniquity, we have behaved wickedly.
Our fathers in Egypt did not understand Your wonders;They did not remember Your abundant kindnesses, But rebelled by the sea, at the Red Sea.
Nevertheless He saved them for the sake of His name, That He might make His power known.
GIVING OF THE LAW
Ex. 20:3 “You shall have no other gods before Me.”
Ex. 20:4 “You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth.
Ex. 20:5 “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,
THE WILDNERNESS WANDERING
Ezek. 20:21 “But the children rebelled against Me; they did not walk in My statutes, nor were they careful to observe My ordinances, by which, if a man observes them, he will live; they profaned My sabbaths. So I resolved to pour out My wrath on them, to accomplish My anger against them in the wilderness.
Ezek. 20:22 “But I withdrew My hand and acted for the sake of My name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations in whose sight I had brought them out.
This coming week we will overview the purpose of the Bible or we could say it another way the purpose of God. Again we are on a tour of the Bible as we have come from the “preparation of the heart” now we are moving to the “explanation to the head.”
I look forward to seeing each of you this Sunday until then blessings on you!
Here are several sections that stood out in my devotion time this morning;
The one thing I ask of the Lord—
the thing I seek most—
is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
delighting in the Lord’s perfections
and meditating in his Temple.
Wait patiently for the Lord.
Be brave and courageous.
Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.
Praise the Lord!
For he has heard my cry for mercy.
The Lord is my strength and shield.
I trust him with all my heart.
He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy.
I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.
The Lord rules over the floodwaters.
The Lord reigns as king forever.
The Lord gives his people strength.
The Lord blesses them with peace.