January 18

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“For as Jonah was in the belly of the great fish for three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth for three days and three nights” (Matthew 12:40 NLT).

From: January 18, 2019

WHICH IS HARDER TO BELIEVE?

Jesus affirmed two miraculous events in one verse. First, what many call fable, Jesus treated as fact. Jesus not only affirmed the Jonah story in Scripture, but saw it as a Messianic sign. Second, He prophesies His own death and resurrection. Modern man may discount the stories of the Bible as myth, but Jesus did not. He not only believed Scripture, He fulfilled it.
 
Many have a hard time believing that the Jonah story is true. But which is harder to believe? That Jonah survived three days in the belly of a fish? Or that Jesus was raised from the dead after three days in a tomb? Jesus believed both. And I believe in Jesus. This is not blind faith. It is simple trust in the One that has saved us.
 
PRAYER: Lord, thank You for overcoming sin, death and the grave, so that we might be saved. We serve a risen Savior! Help us to trust Your written Word as we trust in You, the Living Word. Your Word is life to us. In Jesus name, Amen.

“Anyone who speaks against the Son of Man can be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will never be forgiven, either in this world or in the world to come.” (Matthew 12:32 NLT).

From: January 18, 2018

IS THERE AN UNFORGIVABLE SIN?
Yes. But it’s not what most people think. It’s not mass murder or some heinous crime. The blood of Christ is sufficient to cover any sin. But it cannot cover the continual, willful rejection of the Holy Spirit’s testimony concerning Jesus Christ. The Pharisees had witnessed Jesus setting a demon-possessed man free, restoring his sight and speech, yet they attributed the miracle to Satan. Even though they had knowledge of the Scriptures, which spoke of Christ, they had evidence of His miraculous power, they had the Spirit bearing witness to His identity… They willfully rejected Jesus. How can God forgive the one who will not recognize and receive Jesus as Savior and Lord? They have rejected the very One who would forgive them by rejecting and even speaking against the Holy Spirit who testifies of Jesus.

“O Lord, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup” (Psalms 16:5 NKJV).

From: January 18, 2017

David called the Lord his “portion, inheritance and cup.” This seems a clear allusion to the portion appointed to the Levitical priests who served in the Temple. David declared that he was satisfied not with lands, titles, or riches, but in the Lord Himself. The Lord was his delight and joy. The Lord was the source of any goodness and blessing that he had, therefore he would rather have the Lord than any blessing that the Lord bestowed. David sought the Lord’s face rather than His hand. Might we pray today: “Lord, I am Yours and You are mine. You are the One I long for, You are my inheritance and my great reward.”

‘Then Judah identified them and said, “She is more righteous than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not know her again’ (Genesis 38:26 ESV)

From: January 18, 2016

In the middle of the Joseph story, the Bible takes a detour to offer details about Judah and his twin boys, Perez and Zerah, born to his daughter-in-law, Tamar. This story is disturbing, not only because of the sudden change of topic, but because it seems so immoral and foreign to modern ears. The tradition of the brother providing a son to his deceased brother’s wife is foreign to us, but it was a way of preserving the family line and inheritance, and also a provision for the widow. Yet, the way that Tamar tricked Judah into fulfilling this tradition, after he withheld his third son from her, seems even more strange. What’s the moral of such a story? Why does the Bible include this story filled with deceit, masturbation, fornication, prostitution, and hypocrisy? Perhaps the Gospel of Matthew provides the answer. In his genealogy of Jesus, he says, “This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham: Abraham was the father of Isaac, Isaac the father of Jacob, Jacob the father of Judah and his brothers, Judah the father of Perez and Zerah, whose mother was Tamar” (Matthew 1:1-3). You see, the Bible is not so much a story about humanity. It is a story about God, specifically, God’s Son. Tamar is the first of five women mentioned in Christ’s lineage. Perhaps the Bible included her story in Genesis because of its connection to the promised Messiah, who came into this messy, sin-filled world to save sinners like us. Tamar needed a son to rescue her. The Son born into her family line would rescue not only her, but all those willing to receive Him.

“For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption” (Psalm 16:10 NKJV)

From: January 18, 2015

Both the apostles Peter and Paul quoted this Psalm to make a case for Christ’s resurrection. Peter quoted this verse from King David in his sermon on the day of Pentecost describing him as a prophet who foresaw the resurrection of the Christ. Peter told the great crowd of Jews gathered in Jerusalem that they knew that David was dead and buried, so this verse must be predicting the Messiah’s death and resurrection. When he finished preaching, the people believed and three thousand were saved that day (Acts 2:14-41). Paul preached the gospel at Antioch using this same Psalm to support that the Bible had predicted the resurrection of the Messiah (Acts 13:16-41). This verse is an example of the three-stage fulfillment of prophecy: immediate, ongoing, and ultimate; and also its “both/and” nature. The truth is that God has not left David’s soul in Sheol and ultimately, God will raise his body from the grave. It predicts both David’s resurrection and God’s “Holy One” too. Christ, the Son of David, has already been raised. And someday soon, David will be raised along with all of the rest of God’s saints.

“So when the Ishmaelites, who were Midianite traders, came by, Joseph’s brothers pulled him out of the cistern and sold him to them for twenty pieces of silver. And the traders took him to Egypt” (Genesis 37:28)

From: January 18, 2014

Joseph is a Christological type, a foreshadowing of Christ. He is obedient to his father. Rejected by his brethren. And later, when he rises to power in Egypt, he is the savior of his people, forgiving them and taking care of them during the famine. God gave His people many foreshadowings to prepare them for Christ, but when He came, they treated Him worse than Joseph.

“For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth” (Matthew 12:40)

From: January 18, 2013

Jesus affirmed two miraculous events here. First, what many call fable (Jonah), Jesus treated as fact. Jesus not only affirmed the Jonah story in Scripture, but saw it as a Messianic sign. Second, He prophesies His own death and resurrection. Modern man may discount the stories of the Bible as myth, but Jesus did not. He not only believed Scripture, He fulfilled it.