Monthly Archives: July 2013

The Love of God

In my Bible, in I John, I went through the text and colored a  ‘‘ on top of the word ‘love’ every time it is used. Looking over the pages, it is plain to see that this is a big topic in 1st John! The hearts are everywhere!

There’s a wonderful verse in I John 10:

10 Herein is ♥, not that we ♥d God, but that he ♥d us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

The emphasis in this verse is on God’s love for us, not on how much we love Him! Truly, if all we had was the realization of  how much God has loved us in providing what he has through the death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ, we would be incredibly blessed! God LOVES us! That is a big deal! We can really love others too! (I John 4:11) when we are free in the knowledge of how much God loves us.

Love from God is not hurried or make us defensive, and is not a cause for comparisons among ourselves. There is no need to boast about it or elevate ourselves over others. It certainly is unselfish and keeps us calm, peaceful and un-reactive to those things we don’t need to react to.  It certainly does not invent things about others. Love from God just never never fails because it is not filtered through ‘fear’ and we are able to freely and boldly love as God loves!

 
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Exiting Genesis – Exodus

Studying Genesis has been a wonderful experience. I have learned much and there is a whole lot more to learn. I have been so thrilled to see the grace of God in His foundational book. Yes, Genesis is the ‘Old’ Testament, but it is still about a God who is faithful and loving in a world that is much less than perfect.

God’s people never have to be static. Gaining entrance into different avenues of learning is important in life and knowing when to move on is even more important. Sometimes we find ourselves involved in something that we enjoy, so we stay awhile. Nothing stays the same and if we are too dug in too much it is hard to see beyond the limits.  God’s blessings are dynamic and He will help us rearrange and remove limits.  That is part of life. It is our opportunity to grow. The resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ blew open ‘the sky’s the limit’ cliche.

After Joseph and his generation died in Egypt and other rulers rose up that had not known Joseph and the good that he did for Egypt, things got quite a bit tougher for the Israelites. God was still around but the environment became more pressurized and unfriendly. God could still work in that setting as evidenced in Exodus chapter 1:12:

12 But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites.

Things in and of themselves are not necessarily ruts, but they can become one easily if we don’t watch it. One man’s run is another man’s rut. We all have different needs and paths for growth. When the telltales signs of the winds of change start to blow we need to pay attention and listen to God for direction. Trusting in Him in our prayer life and learning, He will provide ‘plain path’.

In chapters 1-2 of Exodus, the record of the birth of Moses is illuminating. The ruler of Egypt had asked the midwives to kill all the male babies that were born in that time period. Moses was born at a dangerous time. Mose’s mother hid him for 3 months and then set him afloat on the Nile with sister Miriam looking on. Pharoah’s daughter happened to find Moses when she heard him crying. Mose’s tears in the reeds that day on the Nile meant big things for the the Christ line and the Israelite nation.  She decided to take Moses as her own and even hired Mose’s mother (unbeknownst to Pharoah’s daughter) to be the nanny. Moses was then safe from the slaughter that was going on.  Moses was educated and brought up in the privileges of Pharoah’s house. Eventually Moses would be the man who would lead the children of Israel out from under the bondage of the Egyptians and back toward the land of God’s promise.

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Fruitfulness

Yesterday, I went looking for raspberries and found many arching boughs of those little red gems. They are so pretty when still attached to the plant. It doesn’t take long however that, once they are collected, they start to look different, not having the sustenance of the plant. Some of the more invisible creatures (mold, bacteria etc) of this world start to take over and they don’t last long.  1010068_10201638841956011_2083238935_n

The word ‘fruitful’ appears 15 times in Genesis. As I started reading in Exodus, I noticed in the 7th verse of chapter one, the word ‘fruitful’ again in reference to the children of Israel after the Joseph generation had died off. They abounded even when the pressure was on. The more they were pressured the more they multiplied and grew (Exodus 1:12). 

And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and waxed exceeding mighty; and the land was filled with them. Exodus 1:7

In Genesis 1:28, Adam and Eve are told to be fruitful, to multiply, to replenish (fill), to subdue (must have had some things to subdue), and to have dominion over the earth. They enjoyed fellowship with God and life was great. Then they were seduced by another entity away from trusting in God and in doing so transferred authority to  God’s adversary. Things did a 180•  turn. They lost their connection to God and became subject to a problematic world with all the pressures of evil. They were going to need some help with subduing things and having dominion.

Having lost the connection of spirit with God, God only could communicate to those whom had the spirit upon them (Check out numbers 11!) The spirit mostly came upon those who were to speak for God to others.  Joseph was a great example in Genesis as he walked with God and became the fruitful bough of Jacob’s family. It is interesting to read about Abimelech in Genesis 20 who spoke reproving words to Abraham because of a conversation he had with God. If he hadn’t had that conversation would Abraham have eventually obtained the  fulfillment of God’s promise of fruitfulness in Genesis 17:6? Take a look at Noah (Genesis 9:1) and Jacob (Genesis 35:11).

The world is still full of pressures and downright evil. There is no change in that. However in this day, the spirit of God is poured forth to everyone who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ and his resurrection from the dead after having the full thrust of evil put on his shoulders. We have the gift of holy spirit. We are connected to the branch and we have all the benefits of his sustenance.

Colossians 1:10-13That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness; Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

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‘Male and Female Created He Them”

In Genesis, in a general description of creation, there is a reference to the creation of man:

27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

God created Adam out of the dust of the ground. God then took some of Adam and made Eve. These days everyone is worried about equality. God had no problem with equality. The first two humans were made out of the same stuff. This is reflected in the New Testament also:

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus. 

We are all made of the same stuff.

God is spirit not flesh. When God was talking about creating man in His own ‘image’, He wasn’t referring to physical flesh. ‘Image’ is something that represents something else; it is what is perceived.  When God created male and female he meant that they would reflect Him. They would be the image of Him. God is love and man or woman can represent God’s love. God is light and man or woman can represent His light. God is powerful and humans can represent His power.

I John 4:16,17 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 

In Genesis chapter 2 verse 24, God fills in the details of His human creation and says they were to become ‘one flesh’. What does God mean when he says ‘shall be one flesh’? It must mean something more than just producing an Eve from a piece of Adam.

Genesis 2:23-24 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh. 

Ephesians 5:28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.

Ephesians 5:33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband. 

Two shall move as one. Men and women are not alike in the sense that they have characteristics that are distinctly male or female. God designed Eve as a help meet for Adam.  The word ‘meet’ is ‘suitable’.  Eve was Adam’s complement.  To become ‘one flesh’, a relationship must develop based on love and respect in order to move as one.

In the garden of Eden, things got messy when the whole incident with the serpent occurred. The consequences of that mess had it’s affects on the male/female relationship. Conflict, blame and pressure were added to the mix. This always happens when someone adds, subtracts and changes God’s Word.

God didn’t change and His word doesn’t change. Humans have a choice: to believe or not to believe.

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