Romans 9:8 The Children of the Promise

Romans 9:8
8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.
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“The children of the promise are counted for the seed”.  The seed being referenced here is the seed of Abraham.  The Hebrew people, the bloodline of Abraham, are counted as the covenant people of God.  Paul is telling the church that we too have been brought into that covenant.  Not because of who we are or where we’ve come from, but because God extended unto us a promise:  John 1:11-13 “He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.”  It is said that blood is thicker than water, but if your eternal soul is at stake; would you rather be bound by blood or bound by the promise of God Himself?
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Isaiah 46:10 and Isaiah 14:24 The Lord’s Will is Immutable

Isaiah 46:10
10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:
 
Isaiah 14:24
24 The LORD of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand:
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-Consider that God planned how time would unfold before He even created the universe.  Like an expert pool player, God lined up shots millennia ago that are still playing out just as He willed.  Ages and ages before your family bloodline even existed; God knew what would happen to you today, July 30, 2015.  It may be the Lord giving, it may be the Lord taking away; but just like seeing that final ball sink into the corner pocket, we should all be excited to watch it unfold.

2 Peter 1:20-21 God’s Word is for Everyone

2 Peter 1:20-21
20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.
21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.
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-In an effort to extract maximum profit from our works in the modern culture, ideas are regularly patented while literature and compositions are copyrighted.  We try to keep good ideas secure so that we can personally benefit from them.  How comforting that the most important ideas and compositions in history come from One who is more concerned with our good than His own.  The Lord could have kept a tight seal on the wonder and glory contained in Scripture, but instead He made it known to chosen servants so that they could in turn pass it to the rest of us.  Moreover, He commands that His word should never be kept private but is freely available to everyone.

Jude 1:5 The Faithless Will Perish

Jude 1:5
5 I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not.
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-When the Lord brought the Hebrew people out of Egypt, He brought them all out; those who had trusted the Lord, those who had doubted the Lord, those who had blasphemed the Lord.  Regardless of prior mercies, however, when the Lord began to prove the Hebrew in the wilderness, He still cut down those He found faithless.  There was a time when all of the Hebrew received the same treatment, from the outside you couldn’t tell the believers from the mockers.  That lasted right up until judgment began to fall.  As it was with the Hebrew, so it is in America.  For a time, those who mock and those who believe seem to be getting similar treatment; and certainly “he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” (Matthew 5:45)  But “be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Galatians 6:7)  Things may continue this way for a while, but when judgment starts to fall, the Lord will cut down unbelievers in America just as quickly as He did the Hebrew in the wilderness.

Proverbs 2:10-11, 16-19 – Lean Unto the Lord

Proverbs 2:10-11, 16-19
10 When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul;
11 Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee:
16 To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words;
17 Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God.
18 For her house inclineth unto death, and her paths unto the dead.
19 None that go unto her return again, neither take they hold of the paths of life.
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-The Bible teaches that “a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief.” (Proverbs 24:16)  This tells me two things:  1) We are all going to fall; you may not want to and I may not either but it’s going to happen.  More than once.  2) If you fall is not nearly as important as where you fall.  The just and the wicked both fell but only the just man got back up.  Why?  Because the wicked man had fallen into mischief and became “snared in the work of his own hands”. (Psalm 9:16) Like stepping on a bear trap in the woods, sin does more than trip you, it takes hold of you.  Consider Lot in Genesis 13:12; the Bible tells us that he “pitched his tent toward Sodom.”  He set his course towards iniquity and the eventual fall “vexed his righteous soul.”  (2 Peter 2:8)  Consider the “strange woman” here in Proverbs 2; “none that go unto her return again” because her house inclines toward death.  Every day the Lord sets before us “life and good, and death and evil” (Deuteronomy 30:15).  Every choice we make will either steer us towards God or away from Him.  Before the next time we fall, we need to stop and ask one question; “which way am I leaning?”

John 6:26-27- The Cure for Emptiness

John 6:26-27
26 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.
27 Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.
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-So often those who are skeptical of the Lord will seek after a miraculous sign or a convincing argument in order to see the light; just as often those of us who believe attempt to employ those same tactics to win the skeptics over.  The Bible teaches us, however, that eloquent words and strange signs won’t bring a lasting faith and nowhere is that truth better stated than by Jesus Himself right here in verse 26.  Those who follow Jesus do so not because of a miracle or a “sales pitch”, but because He filled the emptiness in their life which is here represented by physical hunger.  There is a void in each of our lives, created by God to be filled by His companionship which we seek to fill with money, love, excess- but all of these things will ultimately fall short of a true relationship with the Lord.  There is a depth to the love of God that answers any need.  If you feel as though something is missing in your life, “taste and see that the LORD is good”.  (Psalm 34:8)

Psalm 130:5-6- The Lord Lights the Darkness

Psalm 130:5-6
5 I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.
6 My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning: I say, more than they that watch for the morning.
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-You’ve no doubt heard the expression, “The light at the end of the tunnel”; it’s designed to bring hope to those who are experiencing hardships because it can be easier to struggle through the night armed with the knowledge that the morning is coming.  The hope of a brighter day doesn’t have to be our consolation in the darkness though; David here points out that instead of waiting for the morning, he instead waits for the Lord.  In fact, he states that his desire for the Lord is actually stronger than those who wait for the light at the end of the tunnel.  Why would this be?  Because the Lord is brighter than even the brightest day and He is not waiting for us at the end of the tunnel; He is in the tunnel with us making sure that we get to the end.  “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” (Jeremiah 29:11)

Deuteronomy 30:10-14 God’s Word is Nigh

Deuteronomy 30:10-14
10 If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.
11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.
12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it?
14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.
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-What excuse can we give God for not obeying His word?  Can we argue that we didn’t have access to it?  The Lord has raised up prophets through the ages to bring His word to the Earth and has empowered missionaries and ministers across the generations to spread that word from sea to shining sea.  Entire languages have been created so that God’s word could be spread; when the printing press was created in the west, the Bible was the first major book printed.  John 3:16 is credited as being translated into more languages than any other sentence in history.  Like a farmer sowing his land, the Lord has gone to painstaking effort to make sure that every heart has a chance to receive the precious seed.  God’s word is not far away at all; the Lord Himself put it close so that you might hear it and receive it.

1 Corinthians 1:27-30 Jesus is everything to us

1 Corinthians 1:27-30
27 But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;
28 And base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are:
29 That no flesh should glory in his presence.
30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:
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-In this section of scripture the things of the world are weighed against the things of God.  Notice that God’s only intentions for the things of the world are to confound them and bring them to naught.  But if all that we are and all that we can be are destined to be made into nothing, what do we have left?  Notice verse 30, Jesus Christ is made unto us certain peculiar traits with eternal merit.  That means if we are to have any wisdom that is recognized by God, it must be the wisdom of Jesus, if we are to have any righteousness that is recognized by God, it must be the righteousness of Jesus, if we are to have any sanctification that is recognized by God, it must be the sanctification of Jesus, and if we are to have any redemption that is recognized by God, it must be the redemption of Jesus.

Isaiah 6:1-3- Holy is the Lord

Isaiah 6:1-3
1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.
2 Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly.
3 And one cried unto another, and said, Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts: the whole earth is full of his glory.
The Lord is called many things in the Bible; but only here is His description repeated like this for emphasis.  If you learn nothing else about the Lord’s character, lesson one is that He is HOLY.  Holy doesn’t mean He’s slightly better than good, Holy doesn’t mean He tries really hard; Holy means His goodness and His righteousness are completely above and beyond anything that we could ever hope to imagine.  So much so that the Seraphim, when they come into His presence, can only cover their faces and cry “Holy, Holy, Holy is the Lord.”  Consider that these Seraphim have never lied, never cheated, never sinned in any way; if they show such reverence and humility in the presence of God, how much more reverence and humility should fallen humanity show?  Never lose sight of who He is and who we are; your life will change more than you can realize if you can grasp this truth and never forget it.