Luke 2:43, 46-49 – Wist ye not that we must…

Luke 2:43, 46-49
43
And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.
46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.
47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.
48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.
49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?

Look at Jesus’ answer in verse 49, “Wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?” “Wist ye not” simply means“don’t you realize”.  It should seem obvious that it is Jesus’ lot to follow the Father’s business, but I find it striking how even as child, Jesus articulated this, “I must be about my Father’s business.”  Now why would someone who has the power to do anything, say that they must be about the Father’s business?  It’s as if Jesus is saying that for those of us who have the ability to do something, anything- the only things worth doing are the things that please God.  That means everything that Jesus did; all the teachings, all the healings, all the feedings.  He didn’t teach to hear His own voice; He taught because it was the Father’s business.  He didn’t heal people because they needed healing; He healed because it was the Father’s business.  He didn’t feed people because they were hungry; He fed them because it was the Father’s business. Jesus tells us in John 6:38“I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” Good works are great, but good works cannot be a motive unto themselves.  It is not enough to simply be busy, or pious, or even charitable; the only thing that matters is fulfilling the Father’s will.

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Isaiah 26:3 – Shalom, Shalom

Isaiah 26:3
3
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

-The phrase “perfect peace” here is actually the Hebrew word “shalom” repeated- “shalom, shalom“.  However you choose to identify it, (peace-peace, double-peace, perfect peace) this complete peace sounds like something that is sorely lacking in the world today.  How can we achieve this peace beyond peace?  Notice the condition given in the verse, “whose mind is stayed on thee“.  Perfect peace is out there waiting for everyone; the promise has been given and the Lord is able to deliver, but it is only promised to those whose minds are fixed on the Lord.  How many of us can truly make such a claim?   When your plans fail, or troubles come, or things just don’t turn out the way you planned; what’s your first reaction?  Do you fall into a state of panic or do you offer up those burdens in prayer?  Does bad news force you to mourn what’s been lost or does it make you thankful for what remains?  The answers to these questions will determine if your mind is fixed on the Lord or on the circumstances or life.  One is the promise of perfect peace, the other can only bring fear and uncertainty.

Proverbs 28:21 – Don’t Sell Yourself

Proverbs 28:21
21
To have respect of persons is not good: for for a piece of bread that man will transgress.

-They say every man has his price.  I believe this to be true, just as I believe that we should all be in continuous prayer to the Lord so He will keep us from “selling out”.  No matter what your price may be, Satan will be able to match it; and once you’ve sacrificed your principles and integrity once, it becomes easier to do it again and again.  Eventually you will find yourself in a place where you will be willing to sell yourself to do evil for something as trivial as a morsel of bread.  Could our convictions ultimately mean so little that we would throw them away for so meager a price?  Remember the Bible’s warning from 1 Corinthians 10:12“Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall.”

Psalm 23:6 – Mercy and Goodness Every Day

Psalm 23:6
6
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

-David paints for us a beautiful picture in Psalm 23 of how the Lord gently leads us through life just as a shepherd caring for a flock of sheep.  He closes with this statement in verse 6, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life”.  David’s life of service to God began when he was very young, giving him a wealth of experience to draw from when writing such words.  He felt the Lord’s power on him as he defeated a lion and a bear and watched the Lord deliver Goliath and the Philistines into his young hands.  David marveled as the Lord protected him time and again from King Saul before finally giving the kingship to him.  My point, Psalm 23:6 is not David’s idea of a naive boast; rather, it was confidence built from God having proven Himself time and again in David’s life.  In looking back, David realized that goodness and mercy had been with him every day of his life.  It wasn’t much of a stretch for David to realize that surely, that same goodness and mercy would stay with him all the days of his life.

Psalm 107 – Praise the Lord

Psalm 107:8
8
Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

Psalm 107:15
15
Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

Psalm 107:21
21
Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

Psalm 107:31
31
Oh that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!

-Four times in this Psalm the Bible implores mankind to praise the Lord for His goodness and wonderful works.  This is not unique to this Psalm either as the whole of scripture continuously reinforces the idea of magnifying the Lord.  How often in Church, or Sunday School, or your own bible study does the Word of God attest to the Lords greatness?  How often in our everyday lives do we see the evidence of that greatness?  Now out of all that, how often do we actually render unto the Lord the praise that is due?  If we are honest with ourselves, I believe we would say not very often.  Why is that?  Is there something wrong with our God, or is there something wrong with us?

Exodus 40:18-19, 21, 25, 27 – “as the Lord commanded”

Exodus 40:18-19, 21, 25, 27
18
And Moses reared up the tabernacle, and fastened his sockets, and set up the boards thereof, and put in the bars thereof, and reared up his pillars.
19 And he spread abroad the tent over the tabernacle, and put the covering of the tent above upon it; as the Lord commanded Moses.
21 And he brought the ark into the tabernacle, and set up the vail of the covering, and covered the ark of the testimony; as the Lord commanded Moses.
25 And he lighted the lamps before the Lord; as the Lord commanded Moses.
27 And he burnt sweet incense thereon; as the Lord commanded Moses.

-The phrase “as the Lord commanded Moses” is repeated 13 times throughout this section of scripture dealing with the tailoring of the ephod and setting up of the tabernacle.  The Lord had previously commanded Moses that he “make them after their pattern, which was shewed thee in the mount” (Exodus 25:40) and the Bible makes it very clear that Moses remembered this instruction every step of the way.  Why is this important?  While certainly making an ephod and building a tabernacle for the Lord is a nice gesture, the Lord Himself seems just as concerned (if not more so) with making sure these items are laid out according to His will.  This is an important lesson especially in regards to contemporary forms of serving the Lord.  It is not enough to stamp the Lord’s name on our practices and declare that worship and service.  The Lord has a very precise way that He chooses to be followed and as we see in Exodus, it is vitally important that we do “just as the Lord commanded”.  “Keep thy foot when thou goest to the house of God, and be more ready to hear, than to give the sacrifice of fools: for they consider not that they do evil.” (Ecclesiastes 5:1)

Psalm 147:1 – “Praise is Comely”

Psalm 147:1
1
Praise ye the LORD: for it is good to sing praises unto our God; for it is pleasant; and praise is comely.

-God’s creation is filled from one side to the other with beauties and wonders that are beyond our imagination.  From beautiful vistas here on Earth to swirling nebulas in the far reaches of space, there is no lack of wondrous sights to please the Lord.  But notice what the Lord keys in on in this verse of scripture; “praise is comely“.  I’m sure the Lord looks at the stars and oceans and trees that He’s made and finds them well pleasing, but when He sees one of us return to give Him the honor that He deserves, that’s attractive.

John 1:1, 11-13 – Children of the Father

John 1:1, 11-13
1
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not.
12 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:
13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Jesus has the power to make us the children of God.  In the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32), the son reckoned that based on his actions and choices, he was no longer worthy to be called the father’s son; however, he was hopeful that if he asked very nicely, the father may take him back as a hired servant.  Before the son was even able to get his planned speech out, the father immediately welcomed him back and among other things, gave him a family ring which in the culture of the day, was a token of one’s legal rights as a son and heir.  What this prodigal’s father did for the son is the same thing that God does for us; it would be more than enough if He saved us from Hell and made us as servants for all eternity.  But the Lord went much further than that; He made us “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ.” (Romans 8:17)  “Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God.” (1 John 3:1)

2 Peter 3:10-14 – Seek and Be Found

2 Peter 3:10-14
10
But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up.
11 Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness,
12 Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?
13 Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.

-The Lord is coming back.  As surely as there is a sun in the sky, the truth of that statement is inevitable and unavoidable.  It will be a day of good and bad.  Good, in that the Lord will finally deliver creation from the pain of sin and death; bad, in that the Lord will finally bring full judgment on sin and those who abide therein.  Knowing all of this, Peter warns the people of God to watch for the day of the Lord’s coming.  But notice what Peter tells us in verse 14, “seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”  Although we are doing the looking, Peter reveals that the Lord is looking for us as well.  We seek, yet He finds.  When the Lord comes looking for you, what will He find?

Hebrews 4:12 – Quick and Powerful

Hebrews 4:12
12 For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

-The word “quick” used here is the Greek word “zao” and means “to live“.  The fact that God’s Word is alive is a key trait to maintaining a good reading/study routine without having to worry about getting bored.  Imagine a companion that you spend time with every day.  Even though you know their personality and are familiar with all of their quirks and mannerisms, every experience with that person is slightly new and different because that person is alive.  So it is with the Word of God; it may be the same collection of verses that you’ve read before, but you can expect the experience to always be new and different because, just like your companion, the God’s Word is alive.