Wisdom Wednesday

1 John 2.2aMy dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin. But if anybody does sin, we have an advocate with the Father—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.  1 John 2:2

Blessings today! It’s Wisdom Wednesday and we continue to give God glory for His grace and mercy…for so loving the world that He Himself atoned for our sins! It is amazing to me the number of people, even Christians, who would rather not discuss “the blood.” The number of times that I have been told that it is “just too horrible for me.” I thought I would find so simple words and ask God to open our hearts to understand that “the blood” gives us reason to shout. Only the One, True, and Living God could love us so much that He would give His Son as our Sacrificial Lamb. This truth is not to be avoided but embraced with such love that it causes us to worship this God as our Lord, Savior, and Greatest Treasure. Perhaps just one of the Scriptures or quotes below will cause you meditate on the loving goodness of God…bow before Him…and worship.

From gotquestions.org:

“The whole of the Old Testament, every book, points toward the Great Sacrifice that was to come—that of Jesus’ sacrificial giving of His own life on our behalf. Leviticus 17:11 is the Old Testament’s central statement about the significance of blood in the sacrificial system. God, speaking to Moses, declares: “For the life of a creature is in the blood, and I have given it to you to make atonement for yourselves on the altar; it is the blood that makes atonement for one’s life.”

A “sacrifice” is defined as the offering up of something precious for a cause or a reason. Making atonement is satisfying someone or something for an offense committed. The Leviticus verse can be read more clearly now: God said, “I have given it to you (the creature’s life, which is in its blood) to make atonement for yourselves (covering the offense you have committed against Me).” In other words, those who are covered by the blood sacrifice are set free from the consequences of sin.”

Mercy 16For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Mark 10:45

Mercy 21But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. Ephesians 2:4-5mercy-20.jpgFor you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 1 Peter 1:18-19Mercy 19And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll
and to open its seals,
because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased for God
persons from every tribe and language and people and nation.
Revelation 5:9
Mercy 18He saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of His mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit…Titus 3:5Mercy 10The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! John 1:29Mercy 17God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. Romans 3:25aMercy 14For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Hebrews 2:17Mercy 11

mercy-8.jpg

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:10Mercy 7And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world. 1 John 4:14Mercy 5

Mercy 3

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The atonement seat

Exodus 25.17-22

17 “You shall make a mercy seat of pure gold. Two cubits and a half shall be its length, and a cubit and a half its breadth. 18 And you shall make two cherubim of gold; of hammered work shall you make them, on the two ends of the mercy seat. 19 Make one cherub on the one end, and one cherub on the other end. Of one piece with the mercy seat shall you make the cherubim on its two ends. 20 The cherubim shall spread out their wings above, overshadowing the mercy seat with their wings, their faces one to another; toward the mercy seat shall the faces of the cherubim be. 21 And you shall put the mercy seat on the top of the ark, and in the ark you shall put the testimony that I shall give you. 22 There I will meet with you, and from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubim that are on the ark of the testimony, I will speak with you about all that I will give you in commandment for the people of Israel.  Exodus 25:17-22

The Isaelites were instructed to create a lid to mount on top of the ark of the Testimony. It is called the mercy or cover seat. This lid was to measure 2’3″ x 3’9″ and have two cherubim facing each other on top whose wings were to overshadow the ark. These angels were to be made from pure gold.

It is believed that these two gold angels resembled winged angels in God’s presence (1 Samuel 4:4, Psalm 99:1, Isaiah 37:16). The cherubim would also be woven into the curtains that covered the tabernacle (Exodus 26:1-6) and those separating the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place (Exodus 26:31-33).

The Lord promise that He would meet with His people above the atonement cover between the two cherubim. Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the high priest would enter the Holy of Holies and sprinkle the blood of the sacrifice on the mercy seat. This blood covered, made atonement for the sins of the people for another year.

The atonement cover (seat) symbolized for Israel what Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God accomplished when He made atonement for sin (Hebrews 9:11-10:14) by His shed blood at the cross. (Ephesians 1:7, 1 Peter 1:18-19).

Praising God today for the privilege that believers in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior have of coming in the presence of God through His blood!

19 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, 20 by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, His body, 21 and since we have a Great Priest over the house of God, 22 let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water. 23 Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. 24 And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, 25 not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:19-25

Praise God! Hallelujah! Jesus is our mercy seat!

1 John 2.2

Romans 3.25

John_1_29

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Is your all on the altar

Psalm 46.10

God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
    and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
though its waters roar and foam
    and the mountains quake with their surging.

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
    the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
    God will help her at break of day.
Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
    he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come and see what the Lord has done,
    the desolations he has brought on the earth.
He makes wars cease
    to the ends of the earth.
He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;
    he burns the shields with fire.
10 He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
    I will be exalted among the nations,
    I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The Lord Almighty is with us;
    the God of Jacob is our fortress.  Psalm 46

Psalm 46.1

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The God who loves righteousness and justice

Psalm 33.5

The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of His unfailing love. Psalm 33:5

How absolutely refreshing this verse is to my soul! The Creator of heaven and earth, the Sustainer of it all, including man…LOVES righteous and justice. I pray that as we read Exodus 21:1 – 23:19 on yesterday that this characteristic of our God was revealed in each heart. The passage covers so many aspects of life…and death. It would be easy to focus of death but how about servants, injuries, stealing, taking advantage of widows and the fatherless, idolatry, lying, rest for workers and animals, food for the poor and even the wild animals, etc.  As I read through, I saw the heart of God for all His creation, the heart of love and provision and protection and deliverance and restoration and grace and mercy. The God of detail who loves righteousness and justice.

You see this truth gives me hope as I watch the evil and wickedness manifested in so many ways today. The reason for my hope is always Jesus and His power and knowing that nothing is impossible for Him…even righteousness and justice.

The truth is that we all have our own views of how evil and wickedness is wreaking havoc in our world today. It is so easy to jump to the obvious things like events we have seen in the news these few weeks…and rightly so…BUT what about things like greed that neglects the poor and needy or systems set-up that allows for the widow and fatherless, and yes, our seniors to be taken advantage of? What about all the business deals that in no way represent the heart of God? How can a lie ever be just, no matter who is telling it?

Isaiah 30:18 reveals the heart of God in regards to righteousness and justice, “Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; therefore He will rise up to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!” I know that there have been times in my life that righteousness was far removed and justice knew no mercy from me. I flat out missed it… and except the Lord strengthen and keep me, it could happen again at any moment. So I am thankful when I see the word compassion next to justice. It tells me that justice can be rendered with compassion. After all that is what Jesus did for every man…we deserved to die, remain separated from God, spend eternity in a burning hell BUT GOD in great compassion said, let Me pay that sentence. 

Isaiah 61:8 declares, “For I, the Lord, love justice; I hate robbery and wrongdoing. In my faithfulness I will reward my people and make an everlasting covenant with them. Why is it that we see the word “robbery” in this verse but skip right over the word “wrongdoing.” Surely, it is possible to rob someone in broad daylight and never use a gun through business practices alone, failure to promote, or lack of equity in salaries. We are just talking about “righteousness and justice” here. This is one example but may we be faithful to pray day by day, Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! And see if there be any grievous way in me,  and lead me in the way everlasting (Psalm 139:23-24)!”

As I read the Exodus passages on yesterday, seeing God’s heart for all He created…I was moved to look at my own heart and know that change in this world begins first with me…and those called by His Name. May we take Philippians 2:12-13 to heart, “Therefore, my beloved…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”

The Lord speaks through Romans 6:12-14, Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness.”

Isaiah 61.8

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Hope for today: God is for us

HopeWhat then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?
Romans 8:31-32

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Hope for today: finding mercy

HopeHe who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.
Proverbs 28:13

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1 John 1:9

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Nobody but Jesus!

Isaiah 46.9

For He is unique in his incarnation (the one and only God-man),

unique in his atonement (only He has died for the sins of the world),

and unique in his resurrection (only He has conquered death).

And since in no other person but Jesus of Nazareth did God
first become human (in His birth),
then bear our sins (in His death),
and then triumph over death (in His resurrection),
He is
uniquely
competent 
to save sinners.

Nobody else possesses His qualifications.

~John Stott, The Radical Disciple

“remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other;  I am God, and there is none like me…” Isaiah 46:9

I am the Lord, and there is no other; apart from me there is no God.” Isaiah 45:5

“You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord,
    “and my servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe Me
    and understand that I Am He.
Before Me no god was formed,
    nor will there be one after Me.
11 I, even I, Am the Lord,
    and apart from Me there is no Savior.
12 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—
    I, and not some foreign god among you.
You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, “that I Am God.
13     Yes, and from ancient days I Am He.
No one can deliver out of My hand.
    When I act, who can reverse it?” Isaiah 43:10-13

“I and the Father are one.” John 10:30

“It is finished.” John 19:30

“My Father, who has given them to me,
is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch
them out of the Father’s hand.” John 10:29

Praising God for His special, unique Son who acted on my behalf with the ultimate finished work! Amazing grace and love poured out even when I was His enemy! For  Once you were [I was] not a people, but now you are [I am] God’s people; once you [I] had not received mercy, but now you [I] have received mercy (1 Peter 2:10).”

Isaiah 43.11

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Wisdom Wednesday

1 John 1.9

Blessings today! It is Wisdom Wednesday and today is a blessed day to hear the Word of the Lord regarding God’s great forgiveness of sin which is available to every man. May we go tell someone! Blessed is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

2“I, I am He who blots out your transgressions for My own sake,

    and I will not remember your sins.

26 Put Me in remembrance; let us argue together;
set forth your case, that you may be proved right.
Isaiah 43:25-26

1-peter-2-24

Surely He has borne our griefs

    and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
    smitten by God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced for our transgressions;
    He was crushed for our iniquities;
upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
    and with His wounds we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
    we have turned—every one—to His own way;
and the Lord has laid on Him
    the iniquity of us all.  Isaiah 53:4-6

Acts 3.19

37 Now when they heard this they were cut to the heart,
and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”


38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.


39 For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” 40 And with many other words he bore witness and continued to exhort them, saying, “Save yourselves from this crooked generation.” 41 So those who received his word were baptized, and there were added that day about three thousand souls. Acts 2:37-41

2 Corinthians 5.21

13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred
us to the kingdom of His beloved Son,
14 in whom we have redemption,
the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14
Ephesians-1-7

but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners,
Christ died for us.
Since, therefore, we have now been justified by
His blood, much more shall we be saved by Him from the wrath of God.
1
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death
of His Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved
by His life. Romans 5:8-10

Isaiah 1.8

18 Who is a God like you, pardoning iniquity
    and passing over transgression
    for the remnant of his inheritance?
He does not retain His anger forever,
    because He delights in steadfast love.
19 He will again have compassion on us;
    He will tread our iniquities underfoot.
You will cast all our sins
    into the depths of the sea. Micah 7:18-19

Luke 5.20

Whoever believes in Him is not condemned,
but whoever does not believe stands condemned
already because they have not believed in the
name of God’s one and only Son. John 3:18

Matthew 26.28

18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to Himself
and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 that is, in Christ God
was reconciling the world to Himself, not counting their trespasses
against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
2 Corinthians 5:18-19

psalm-51-7

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
    and forget not all His benefits,
who forgives all your iniquity,
    who heals all your diseases,
who redeems your life from the pit,
    who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy…
Psalm 103:2-4

hebrews-10-17.jpg

34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor
and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for
they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest,
declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will
remember their sin no more.” Jeremiah 31:34

Psalm 103.12

After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, “Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!”11 And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, 12 saying, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” Revelation 7:9-12

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The second chance God

Joshua6-20

Blessings today! The stats tell me this post has been read the most of any posted by Beholding Him Ministries. I am posting it today as a follow-up to our becoming ‘fishers of men.’ Since we are called to fish men, let us not overlook anyone.

Joshua 6
23 Joshua said to the two men who had spied out the land,
“Go into the prostitute’s house and bring her out and all who belong to her,
in accordance with your oath to her.”
23 So the young men who had done
the spying went in and brought out Rahab, her father and mother,
her brothers and sisters and all who belonged to her. They brought out her
entire family and put them in a place outside the camp of Israel. 
24 Then they
burned the whole city and everything in it, but they put the silver and gold and
the articles of bronze and iron into the treasury of the Lord’s house.
25 But Joshua spared Rahab the prostitute, with her family and all who belonged to her,
because she hid the men Joshua had sent as spies to Jericho—
and she lives among the Israelites to this day.

We know the end of this story, Joshua and the Israelites marched around this city carrying Joshua6.20the Ark of the Covenant which represents the presence of God. At God’s appointed time, without a bow and arrow, without a gun, without missile technology… but with a shout of victory, those thick, tall walls came tumbling down… all but Rahab’s house, she and her family was saved, protected, delivered for Rahab was anchored in the Lord!

I am so blessed by Rahab’s story for it tells us
that our past doesn’t have to be our future. 
Continue reading “The second chance God”

Blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven…

Psalm 32.1

Psalm 32

Of David. A maskil.

Blessed is the one
    whose transgressions are forgiven,
    whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one
    whose sin the Lord does not count against them
    and in whose spirit is no deceit.

When I kept silent,
    my bones wasted away
    through my groaning all day long.
For day and night
    your hand was heavy on me;
my strength was sapped
    as in the heat of summer.

Then I acknowledged my sin to you
    and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
    my transgressions to the Lord.”
And you forgave
    the guilt of my sin.

Therefore let all the faithful pray to you
    while you may be found;
surely the rising of the mighty waters
    will not reach them.
You are my hiding place;
    you will protect me from trouble
    and surround me with songs of deliverance.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
    I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.
Do not be like the horse or the mule,
    which have no understanding
but must be controlled by bit and bridle
    or they will not come to you.
10 Many are the woes of the wicked,
    but the Lord’s unfailing love
    surrounds the one who trusts in him.

11 Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous;
    sing, all you who are upright in heart!

Psalm32.1

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