Week 4: Day 4- Numbers 21:6-9

And the LORD sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people; and much people of Israel died. Therefore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the LORD, and against thee; pray unto the LORD, that he take away the serpents from us. And Moses prayed for the people. And the LORD said unto Moses, Make thee a fiery serpent, and set it upon a pole: and it shall come to pass, that every one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it, shall live. And Moses made a serpent of brass, and put it upon a pole, and it came to pass, that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the serpent of brass, he lived.

Numbers 21:6-9

Explanation:

In the book of Numbers, the Bible relates a time in the wilderness where the people had been rebellious and disobedient to Him.  God sent judgement for their sin in the form of “fiery serpents”.  These were snakes that were poisonous and deadly.  The  people came to Moses confessing their sin.  Moses then goes and intercedes to God on behalf of behalf of the people.  God responded by providing a means of forgiveness and healing.  He tells Moses to form a snake out of brass and put it on a pole in the midst of the camp.  When the people who are bit are obedient to look to the serpent in faith in God’s Word and the redemption that was made possible, God healed them. 

Jesus uses this as an illustration in John 3:14-15.

And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up: That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.

John 3:14-15

Application:

We are saved by looking to Jesus for our redemption.  All that we can offer to God is our faith.  When we trust in Christ and allow Him to change us amazing things happen.The Baby born in Bethlehem was born to die. Like the old hymn says, “Look and live!”. 

Response:

1.  Take a few moments today to thank God for the provision that He made in Christ to forgive our sins.

2.  Who is someone you can tell about God’s salvation this Christmas season?

Week 4: Day 3- Matthew 1:24-25

(24) Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
(25) And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name JESUS.

Matthew 1:24-25

Explanation

Joseph stepped out in faith by exhibiting his obedience to the will of God through:

  1. Marrying a pregnant fiance.
  2. Forgoing sex until after she had the child.
  3. Naming the child Jesus, as he was told to do.

The name Jesus means “Jehovah saves” or “Yahweh saves”.

Joseph put his reputation on the line and his life to the task of taking care of the Son of God. By marrying her it made it possible to take Mary to Bethlehem. Christ was born in the city of David, in the line of David, just as the prophets predicted.

Application:

My task as a believer is not really any less clear. God has given me explicit instructions as to who I should be and what I should do. The key is to obey God by putting my faith and trust in Him. I need to be willing to be obedient even in situations when it is risky.

Response:

  1. Is there an area of obedience that may put your reputation on the line or may seem risky? How are you going to respond?
  2. Take some time to thank God for His gift of Jesus for you!

Galatians Day 10- Father Abraham had many sons…

Father_AbrahamIf you didn’t grow up in church or have never worked in Children’s ministry in the last 50 years or so, then you won’t get what I’m about to ask. Have you ever wondered why Father Abraham had many sons, why many sons had Father Abraham? Have you ever wondered why you are one of them, and so am I? Oh well, Let’s just praise the Lord. Seriously though, does the Bible say that you and I are Abraham’s children? I’m not Jewish. How can that be? Check out today’s verses…

Galatians 3:6-9

Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. (7) Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. (8) And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. (9) So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham.

In verses 1-5 Paul appeals to the Galatians experience to help them understand that they are not made right with God by works but by faith. In today’s verses Paul appeals to scripture. The Legalists that were misleading the Galatians were misinterpreting the old testament using Abraham as an example. So Paul goes right to the Old Testament and talks about Abraham. He quotes Genesis 15:6, where Moses said that Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. The word translated “accounted” means to put into ones account, to impute. The idea is that it wasn’t Abraham’s works that made his account with God balance. It was Abraham’s faith in God that God noticed and to which God responded. Paul goes on to say that in God’s way of thinking it is not being in the lineage of Abraham physically that matters to God. When someone gets right with God the way that Abraham did, by faith, they are blessed in Abraham.

Application:

  • We all have to be made right with God.
  • The two options we have are to try to be right with God by doing things, or by believing God.
  • God has made it clear that we are made right with Him by believing Him. We are made right with God by Faith. That is good news because anyone can have faith. We all put our faith in something.
  • If you’ve never put your faith for your salvation in Jesus Christ, I have to tell you what the Bible says– that’s the only shot you have at being right with God.
  • If you have put your faith in Christ, how about taking a moment today to thank God for this incredible gift?!

You’re Welcome.

Galatians Day 9- It’s All God

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If someone gave you a $100,000,000 home, ranch and estate that would be great right? With a gift like that though comes some responsibility. It takes a lot of money to maintain an estate that large. The person that had the means to give you that estate would have to also help you maintain it as well.

That is a poor illustration of what salvation is like. The most incredible and extravagant gift that we can be given is the gift of salvation. “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed upon us that we should be called the sons of God!” We can’t earn earn our salvation on our own, nor could we keep it our own. He has to give us the power to please Him and glorify Him as well.

Paul began churches in Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, and Derbe. As a church planting missionary he had seen people in these cities come to faith in Christ, experience Holy Spirit lead life change in incredible ways. So when Paul gets to chapter 3 of the book of Galatians he begins to remind the Galatians about how they came to faith in Christ. He uses very strong language because the situation is so dire. They are believing things that change the gospel!

1    O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

Do you not remember what you believed about the death of Jesus? Why would Jesus have to die if you could get right with God on your own?

2    This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?3    Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh?4    Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain.

Paul calls them to answer this question- If you were Saved by faith, why do you think you have to continue to be saved and grow in God by works? You didn’t do anything to earn your salvation. Why do you think you must do something to keep your salvation?

5    He therefore that ministereth to you the Spirit, and worketh miracles among you, doeth he it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

Does God respond with good things to our faith or to our works? What is the answer? The hearing of faith!

So how do we apply this text?:

-We don’t just need God for salvation. We need Him for life!
When was the last time you believed that God will give you the victory over sin in your life? When was the last time you asked Him to help you fight sin and believed that he would?

-We need to be grateful for God’s grace, in spite of our sin, in response to our faith.
Thank God for His grace today.