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Archive for the 'Christmas 2017' Category

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God Gets His Hands Dirty

14. Why is He called Jesus?

 

With all that has been said in this series so far, ask yourself this question in relation to Jesus: “What’s in a name?” I wonder what your name means. Parents usually name their children after the hopes and aspirations they have for that child. For example, the name John means “the gift of God”. I know somebody called Grace, and her nature is that of somebody full of grace. My name of David means “beloved” and when my parents named me, it was meant to symbolize the love they had for me.

But what does the name Jesus mean? When Jesus was born, his very name imbued the reason he was born. The name Jesus as we discovered in an earlier message means “Saviour” or “One who saves or rescues.” The entirety of His birth, life and death was centred on this very role - saving and rescuing all those who would believe, receive and follow Him. We have seen in the testimony of the Apostles John, Peter and Paul how Jesus came to save sinners, to call people to follow, believe and receive Himself! This Jesus who proclaimed He was the only way to God!

Jesus’ conception and birth were extraordinary at every level. So important is our understanding of his birth that, according to the Gospel accounts, no fewer than 4 angels came to give a full picture of the event. Do you think that his parents, Joseph & Mary, ever gazed upon him, and thought “How misnamed He is”! They did not, because they knew the very purpose for which He was born. This Jesus, Jesus Christ of Nazareth, is the most talked about person in history. Almost everyone has an opinion about Him. Jesus was born to confirm God's promises, to reveal God as a Father, and to be our representative before Him. Jesus gave us an example of how to live a holy life to the full. Jesus was not merely a man who received some special power. Jesus was not some strange creation that was half man and half God, with his human nature somehow absorbed into the divine. He was, as we shall see in the coming studies, much more than those ideas – Jesus was fully God and fully human!

Jesus came to serve all others and not to be served! Jesus came in order to call others to a life of following, receiving and believing in Him! Jesus came to reconcile people back into a peaceful and dynamic relationship with God by means of shedding his blood on the cross! Jesus trusted God to raise Him from the dead – and he did! Jesus – resurrected, ascended, glorified and exalted! Jesus Christ, the saviour of the world. Jesus Christ, who proclaimed “I am the way, the truth and the life.”

Jesus is a name, which is especially sweet and precious to believers. It has often done them good. It has given them what money cannot buy - that is, inward peace. It has eased their wearied consciences and given rest to their heavy hearts. The Song of Solomon describes the experience of many, when it says, "Your name is oil poured forth" (Song of Solomon 1:3). Happy is the person who trusts not merely in vague notions of God's mercy and goodness, but in "Jesus." Jesus proclaimed by the Apostle John, Apostle Peter and the Apostle Paul as the saviour and rescuer of the world – just as his name Jesus means! I am bound to ask is Jesus your saviour and rescuer? Are you following, believing and receiving Him?

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God Gets His Hands Dirty

13. Jesus’ Kingdom

 

1 A day of the Lord is coming, Jerusalem, when your possessions will be plundered and divided up within your very walls.
2 I will gather all the nations to Jerusalem to fight against it; the city will be captured, the houses ransacked, and the women raped. Half of the city will go into exile, but the rest of the people will not be taken from the city. 3 Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations, as he fights on a day of battle. 4 On that day his feet will stand on the Mount of Olives, east of Jerusalem, and the Mount of Olives will be split in two from east to west, forming a great valley, with half of the mountain moving north and half moving south. 5 You will flee by my mountain valley, for it will extend to Azel. You will flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him. (Zechariah 14:1-5)


As we saw in Isaiah 61 to 63, God has commenced doing a good thing through the Servant Messiah. At His first coming as a baby, this Servant Messiah ushered in the Year of the Lord’s favour. We live in that period of time now, and it will continue until the Servant Messiah, Jesus Christ, comes again in glory and majesty. He will take those obedient followers to the City of God. For those who reject Him and the free offer of God’s grace, there is the Day of Vengeance. Now in Zechariah 14, we get a different perspective. We get a vision of the Kingdom of God at that tie in the future. So let us take a flight with Zechariah, into the future to see what this Messiah’s Kingdom is like. Where Jerusalem is mentioned, is in fact talking about the New Jerusalem, the City of God!


To discover more, please do listen and/or download the mp3 using the links below.

 

 

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God Gets His Hands Dirty

12. Jesus’ Proclaimations

 

1 Who is this coming from Edom,

from Bozrah, with his garments stained crimson?Edom,

Who is this, robed in splendour,Edom,

striding forward in the greatness of his strength?Edom,

‘It is I, proclaiming victory,Edom, mighty to save.’Edom,

2 Why are your garments red,Edom,

like those of one treading the winepress?Edom,

3 ‘I have trodden the winepress alone;Edom,

from the nations no one was with me.Edom,

I trampled them in my angerEdom,

and trod them down in my wrath;Edom,

their blood spattered my garments,Edom,

and I stained all my clothing.Edom,

4 It was for me the day of vengeance;Edom,

the year for me to redeem had come.Edom,

5 I looked, but there was no one to help,Edom,

I was appalled that no one gave support;Edom,

so my own arm achieved salvation for me,Edom,

and my own wrath sustained me.Edom,

6 I trampled the nations in my anger;Edom,

in my wrath I made them drunkEdom,

and poured their blood on the ground.’Edom,

Isaiah 63:1-6

 

Here the prophet Isaiah gives two contrasting certainties. They can be found in Isaiah 61:2. The two certainties are “the year of Yahweh’s favour, and the day of vengeance of our God”. There will be the year of favour and the day of vengeance. The year of honour, as we shall see has already started. We don’t know when it will end, but we know that it will. The day of vengeance will be in the future sometime. Again we don’t know when that will be either. But we know it will all happen quickly, suddenly and without warning (Isaiah 60:22). Therefore people need to be ready and alert! The time of when it will occur is not known, but it is known who will end it – Almighty God.

 

To learn more about this mose amazing passage to do with Jesus Christ, use the links below to download and/or listen to the mp3 file. Thanks

 

 

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God Gets His Hands Dirty

11. Jesus' Rejection

 

1 Open your doors, Lebanon, so that fire may devour your cedars!
2 Wail, you juniper, for the cedar has fallen;
the stately trees are ruined!
Wail, oaks of Bashan;
the dense forest has been cut down!
3 Listen to the wail of the shepherds:
their rich pastures are destroyed!
Listen to the roar of the lions;
the lush thicket of the Jordan is ruined!
Zechariah 11:1-3

So far, we have seen that the future is glory for the Servant Messiah and all those who choose to follow Him! It is a future of hope, joy, excitement, awe, wonderment and glory. But that is only one side of the future.

In Zechariah 11, we come to another part of the future; the part of the future which is for all those who would reject God’s Servant Messiah.

While Zechariah talks in picture language and symbols, the overall message is startlingly clear: those who reject the Messiah, will in the future be rejected by Him! But we are not given the full details here, but rather are told the why it will happen.

To find out more, please do download the mp3 podcast using the links below!

 

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God Gets His Hands Dirty

10. Jesus’ Invitation

 

1 ‘Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters;
and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labour on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.
3 Give ear and come to me; listen, that you may live.
I will make an everlasting covenant with you,
my faithful love promised to David.
4 See, I have made him a witness to the peoples,
a ruler and commander of the peoples.
Isaiah 55:1-4

Remember recently we looked at the City of God to come at some point in the future. A time where all those who believe will live and worship the Lord God Almighty for ever! Who is this invitation for? This invitation to join is to all people of all races and nationalities! But they have to respond to the call! Come! See! Taste!

To discover more about Jesus' invitation, please do download and/or listen to the Podcast using the links below! Come! Listen! See! Taste! Thank you!

 

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God Gets His Hands Dirty

9. Jesus’ Promise

 

16 ‘See, it is I who created the blacksmith
who fans the coals into flame
and forges a weapon fit for its work.
And it is I who have created the destroyer to wreak havoc;
17 no weapon forged against you will prevail,
and you will refute every tongue that accuses you.
This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,
and this is their vindication from me,’
declares the Lord.
Isaiah 54:16-17


God fulfils every promise made! In Isaiah 52, Isaiah started talking about a great homecoming for all those who believed. Then Isaiah gave a picture regarding the sacrificial suffering of the Messiah Servant. Now in Isaiah 54, we see the reason for the suffering. We see that because of this coming Messiah’s suffering and subsequent exultation and vindication, that God will make a New Covenant with all the peoples of the world!
God has always kept the promises He made with people! Promises to Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and David were also kept by God! God is ever faithful and always true to His word! And here God reminds them through Isaiah of three promises or covenants He has made: Abraham, Moses and Noah.

To learn more about how Jesus fulfills these promises and more, please do use the link below to listen to the Podcast. Thank you!

 

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