From: January 12, 2018
Scripture for today: Genesis 26:17-27:46; Matthew 9:1-17; Psalm 10:16-18; Proverbs 3:9-10
From: January 12, 2017
“Rehoboth.” The name means “spacious.” And space to live in peace was really all that Isaac desired. The Philistines had stopped up the wells in the land of Gerar that Abraham had dug. So, Isaac dug again those wells and named them what his father Abraham had named them. Yet, the Philistines were envious of Isaac’s prosperity. The king of the Philistines, Abimelech, told Isaac to “go away” from them because they were too mighty. So Isaac moved. In the valley nearby, his servants found water and dug another well, which the Philistine herdsman claimed. Isaac moved again. Dug another well, but same story… locals quarreled with him and claimed ownership. So, Isaac moved again and dug another well, which he named “Rehoboth.” Finally, no locals quarreled over the well. Isaac gave the Lord thanks that He had given them peace and room to prosper at last.
I suppose Isaac could have fought and defeated the herdsmen in the valley of Gerar, but that would not have brought peace. Those wells were certainly his, he dug them, but he surrendered them to keep the peace. This wasn’t cowardice or weakness. Abimelech acknowledged that Isaac was “mightier” than they were. Isaac sought peace and God gave him that and more. God gave him spaciousness and blessing.
From: January 12, 2016
Jesus answered the question of the disciples of John the Baptist with His own question. Indirectly, His question revealed two things about Himself: 1) Jesus is the Bridegroom, and 2) He would be taken away. These two facts were more important than their question concerning why Christ’s disciples didn’t fast. Of course, He answered that too, by saying they will fast after the “bridegroom is taken away from them.” John’s disciples came to Jesus wanting to know why His disciples didn’t fast. Why didn’t they deny themselves to focus their souls on hearing from God? And Jesus essentially told them that they didn’t have to fast because God is with them already, the Bridegroom, the Messiah had come. He also let them know that He would be forcibly taken away, predicting His coming crucifixion.
From: January 12, 2015
Jesus gave this response to the disciples of John the Baptist when they asked why Christ’s disciples didn’t fast. To understand His response we must first understand the metaphor He used. In that day containers for liquid were often made from animal skins. In the fermentation process of new wine, yeast converts the natural sugar in the grapes into alcohol and CO2. This causes expansion. New wineskins can handle this expansion because of their flexibility. On the other hand, old wine has finished its fermentation process and old wineskins have aged and lost their flexibility.
In context, Jesus uses this metaphor to compare old wine to the Old Covenant of the Law and new wine to the New Covenant of Grace that He was inaugurating. The hearers then, are compared to the wineskins. Some, will be unable to understand Christ’s redemption and will continue to pursue good works and ritualistic religion as a means to please God. They are like the old wineskins. Yet, others will recognize their own sinfulness and rely on Christ’s sacrifice and grace. They are like the new wineskins.
We have to be willing to let go of our own human effort at righteousness and freely receive Christ’s sacrifice for our sin in order to receive this “new wine,” this new covenant with God.
From: January 12, 2014
When Matthew was called to follow Jesus, he immediately threw a party at his house for all of his lost friends. God has shaped each of us differently. Matthew threw a party and introduced his friends to Jesus. Peter boldly preached to thousands in Jerusalem and told them they were guilty of killing the Savior. Paul stood before the Athenians on Mars Hill and reasoned with them in front of the idol to the unknown god. God has shaped each of us for significant service. How has He shaped you?
From: January 12, 2013
The Hebrew verb “honor” (kabad) may also be translated “give glory to” or “to give weight to, weighty.” The idea is that we recognize the Lord as the Owner and Giver of all things. We give our “firstfruits” to the Lord to show that we put Him first. Many say that they honor God, but it is merely lip service. Do you give “honor” (priority, glory, weight) to the Lord?
From: January 12, 2012
Not what’s leftover at the end of the month. Not what’s nearly used up or tattered. Give the first part. Give the best part.
From: January 12, 2011
Worship – to ascribe worth. Honor – to place high value on or pay homage. Does the way you use your wealth bring honor and worship to God?