If only Then were Now

 


Isaiah 64:1-3


Some of the passages in the Bible make it very easy to picture the scene they are describing. A number of Psalms are written with the same voice, asking when God will return, when God will bring justice, and how long God will be patient with the way things are. These days it seems that Jesus’ return is much closer than it was when the disciples wrote that it was the last days.  


Isaiah 64:4-6


Usually I don’t flip to the Old Testament, but that’s where my Bible opened. So many things have happened, Israel has been called from many nations to become a nation in the land that God promised Abraham, Issac, and Jacob. There are wars, rumors of wars, famine, drought, and all sorts of things happening out there. Then I remember that New Testament verse that says that God isn’t being slow, but he’s being patient so that as many as possible can be saved.


Isaiah 64:7-9


Most people only know about the stores in their area, the churches in their area, and the fairs that go on in their area. God is an everywhere God. Not just to us, but to all people. He isn’t a picture, a statue, or something in our heads designed to keep us in line. He wants the heart, to change it from being sinful to sinless. To use something that bounds us for destruction as a sign that promises peace.


Isaiah 64:10-12

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up-right

(I made some chocolate oatmeal cookies yesterday. They’re holding together fairly well, though they aren’t entirely firm. At least they taste right. Thanks to the storms we’ve had over the last few days, the grass is once again green. Dad has already brought some broccoli in and the other vegetables are all growing well. There’s really not much going on and I’m trying my hardest to be up to no good.)


What is right? Is right simply not being wrong? Is right something that is absolute or does it change depending on the day, the weather, or how many numbers were correct on the latest lottery ticket?


In the Incredibles, Mr. Incredible saves a man who jumps from a building, but the jumper is slightly injured in Mr. Incredible’s attempt to stop his nemesis from detonating a bomb. The man sues the hero and wins the multi-million dollar case. This begs the question if such a thing happens in the real world.


On some occasions, meaning this has happened more than once, the hero will sue the person they once saved. What is right about that? Nothing.


How can we be righteous in a world that doesn’t even know what is right? That one’s easy, do what the Bible says is right no matter how wrong the world may call it. Righteousness comes by faith. As it is, people are seeing a pro-moralism movement. I don’t think that we can have a moral country without holiness and righteousness, but people will strive for moralism anyway.

Anchor

Comic Sans MS –


Hebrews 6:13-20 says: ” 13 When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, 14 saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” 15 And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised.
16 Men swear by someone greater than themselves, and the oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument. 17 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. 18 God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. 19 We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, 20 where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”


I want to point out a few things before I get to the point, (a) there is no one greater than God, (b) God’s promise is unchanging, and (c) it is impossible for God to lie. I don’t really need to say much on these, they really speak for themselves. It just helps me to look forward to Heaven that Jesus described.


Now I want to take a look at the order of Melchizedek:



  • Melchizedek was both a king and a priest of God (Genesis 14:18-20)

  • Melchizedek blessed Abraham, Abraham gave Melchizedek a tithe

  • Melchizedek means “my king is righteous”

  • Melchizedek’s kindgom, Salem, is our modern-day Jerusalem

  • Melchizedek’s priesthood was universal, royal, personal, and continual

Although the passages of Hebrews that follow chapter 6 elaborate on Jesus being a priest in the order of Melchizedek, I find all blessings in the Bible noteworthy. Melchizedek blessed both Abraham and God. Our usual blessing is customarily said after a person sneezes. If we could learn to bless, maybe we’ll be blessed too.

OT And/Or NT

Arial – When I was much younger, I didn’t succeed in my attempt to get through the Old Testament. It’s quite an undertaking. The toughest part was getting through the laws and the description of the building of the tabernacle. Now that I think about it, does anything of the OT apply to a NT Christian?


The OT is the foundation for the NT. Foreshadowing and prophecies about Jesus Christ are found throughout the various books. Many important things are described in the Old Testament, some of which are the stories that are the basis for the movies found in many Christian libraries. Knowing the OT brings a new light to the NT. 


As it turns out, a number of things described in the levitical laws are good for us, but the second purpose of the law to keep the people holy. However the New Testament describes a situation where gentiles had been told that they needed to follow the law of Moses in order to be saved. The result of consulting the elders was the decision not to make the new faith in God difficult for the gentiles that were becoming believers. The elders drafted a letter stating a few suggestions to follow. (Acts 15)


When Jesus was being tempted, the verses he quoted were from Deuteronomy. (The word itself means “Copy of the Law”.) Several New Testament references lead to the Old Testament. Most of the Hall of Faith comes from the Old Testament. Does anything of the OT apply to a NT Christian? Yes! And it makes great movies.

earthquakes and volcanic eruptions

Verdana – Earthquakes are an interesting natural phenomena. over time, pressure builds up at the fault lines. The point where the pressure is relieved is called the epicenter and it can run very deep.


Now that you’ve had a bit of a geology lesson, I want to talk about another type of quake. Confronting a person who is at fault is a common cause. We cannot mark this epicenter, but it’s the large arguments that are as equally destructive. Earthquakes mirror arguments. Some earthquakes are the result of the land rubbing the wrong way, getting too close, and are commonplace at volcanic eruptions. Yet more mirroring of the way we are.


People who live in earthquake prone areas learn to construct buildings that can withstand most tremors. Those of us who deal with arguments often become peacemakers.


They say that there are two types of anger, those that lash out and those that bottle up. Volcanic eruptions are almost the same. (Once you get down to basics, but I even I don’t know everything about the mechanics of an eruptions or an earthquake.) Some of the most famous eruptions were the result of bottled-up pressure that cause the destruction of the entire volcano. However, some of the most famous active volcanoes constantly lash out.


Anger and our health do have a link, stomach ulcers and other ilnesses. A book I’m reading says that those who suffer from road rage must learn to change their behavior and their attitude for their own sake as well as others’. We can change many things, but without the Lord all our changes are superficial. The core of the problem happens to be our hearts. We think that we are in control when we are actually spiraling out of it. When God is given our hearts, he sets us on the straight and narrow path, the one that few find.

words and bonds

Trebuchet MS –  21 If you make a vow to the LORD your God, do not be slow to pay it, for the LORD your God will certainly demand it of you and you will be guilty of sin. 22 But if you refrain from making a vow, you will not be guilty. 23 Whatever your lips utter you must be sure to do, because you made your vow freely to the LORD your God with your own mouth. (Deuteronomy 23:21-23)


Like pretty much everything else, we’re casual with vows, oaths, and promises. The phrase “I swear to God” is almost void of reverence. Nobody would actually stick a needle in their eye if they broke their word. It seems that there are fewer and fewer who hold to “my word is my bond”. After all, you get yourself out of anything you can get yourself into.


12 Above all, my brothers, do not swear—not by heaven or by earth or by anything else. Let your “Yes” be yes, and your “No,” no, or you will be condemned. (James 5:12)


It’s no wonder we’re told to tame the tongue, it’s what gets us into the most trouble. It takes an effort to watch what we say, but it takes character to do what we say.

Why you want to go to this court

Times New Roman – Courts are something that most of us are concerned about. We can see similar situations play out on the television courts. There’s the two people arguing over a matter, and a handful of witnesses. After some shouting and disagreement about various points of either’s testimony, the judge deliberates and hands down the verdict. This is a court we’d avoid of we could, but go to if necessary.


Most definitions of court refer to places, people, and justice. I want to talk about God’s court. Romans 14:10 says that we will all stand before the judgement seat of God. According to Revelation 20:11-15, this is what happens next:  Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. Then death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.


Did you know that there are some bodies of water where those that perish do not rise to the surface? But another definition of court is the residence of a sovereign, prince, nobleman, or ether dignitary; a palace. God’s residence, and therefore the Christian’s future residence is heaven. That’s why you want to go to this court.