17 December 2018

Advent for 17 Dec 18

Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress. In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future he will honor Galilee of the nations, by the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan—The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned (Isaiah 9:1–2).

Here is a prophecy predicting that Messiah would come from Galilee. This was fulfilled: When Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, he withdrew to Galilee. Leaving Nazareth, he went and lived in Capernaum, which was by the lake in the area of Zebulun and Naphtali—to fulfill what was said through the prophet Isaiah: Land of Zebulun and land of Naphtali, the Way of the Sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles—the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.' From that time on Jesus began to preach, 'Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near (Matthew 4:12–17). Be thankful that there are prophecies to help us discern who is Messiah.

16 December 2018

Pray Without Ceasing

1 Thessalonians 5:17 MKJV Pray without ceasing.
A1 Background
B1 Acts 17:1-9 NKJV Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews. Then Paul, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, explaining and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and [saying,] “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.” And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas. But the Jews who were not persuaded, becoming envious, took some of the evil men from the marketplace, and gathering a mob, set all the city in an uproar and attacked the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. But when they did not find them, they dragged Jason and some brethren to the rulers of the city, crying out, “These who have turned the world upside down have come here too. “Jason has harbored them, and these are all acting contrary to the decrees of Caesar, saying there is another king–Jesus.” And they troubled the crowd and the rulers of the city when they heard these things. So when they had taken security from Jason and the rest, they let them go. Keathley III adds this from his commentary: Paul instructed the returning Bereans to have Silas and Timothy join him immediately at Athens (see Acts 17:15 and 1 Thess 3:1). Paul then sent Timothy back to Macedonia for the purpose of strengthening and encouraging the Thessalonian believers and to bring back a report about their faith and spiritual condition. Silas was probably sent on a similar mission to Philippi.
B2 The Thessalonian Christians were faithful. They had some questions for Paul, since he had to leave abruptly.
B3 Paul wrote 1 Thessalonians ~51 AD (CE).
C1 Dr. Daniel B. Wallace writes in his introduction to 1 Thessalonians: Not only is 1 Thessalonians found in Marcion’s canon and the Muratorian canon, but it is also quoted by name by Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, and Tertullian. Perhaps even Polycarp alludes to it when he speaks of Paul’s letters to the Philippians.4 Further, it is found in the most ancient MSS (including the old Latin, old Syriac, and ¸46), suggesting its full acceptance from a very early period.
C2 Keathley III adds: Both 1 and 2 Thessalonians were written from Corinth during the Apostle’s eighteen-month stay in that city (cf. Acts 18:1-11). The first epistle was written during the earlier part of that period just after Timothy had returned from Thessalonica with news of the progress of the church, and the second letter was dispatched just a few weeks later (or at the most a few months). Any date assigned will have to be approximate, though probably ... AD 51-52.
B4 This is ~20 years after the ministry of the Lord Jesus. Many people would still alive who had seen, heard, been healed, be blessed, etc. By the Lord Jesus Himself.
B5 The book has not been questioned as to time of writing or author for the most part.
A2 At the end of his letter, Paul gives some instructions to the Thessalonians. These are rules for the church to follow. It was not only the congregation at Thessaloniki at that time. It is for today, too.
A3 Pray without ceasing
B1 Pray
C1 The Greek word is G4336 προσεύχομαι proseuchomai, which means to offer prayer to the gods. Of course, we know there is only one God.
C2 Prayer is talking, that is, conversing with God.
C3 We enjoy talking with our spouse, our children, our friends, and the people we work with, so why shouldn’t we enjoy talking to God.
C4 The Westminster Larger Catechism has as it first question:
Q. 1. What is the chief and highest end of man?
A. Man's chief and highest end is to glorify God, 1 and fully to enjoy him forever.
C5 Personally, I prefer the answer to be Man’s chief and highest end is to fellowship with God and serve Him forever.
D1 1 John 1:3 MKJV that which we have seen and heard we declare unto you, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
D2 Revelation 22:3 WEB There will be no curse any more. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will serve him.
C6 Since fellowship is important, let us pray. Praying is fellowship. We don’t to be passive or in silence. God wants us alert and fellowship with Him. 1 Corinthians 1:9 GNB God is to be trusted, the God who called you to have fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ, our Lord.
B2 Without ceasing
C1 The Greek word is G3114 μακροθυμέω makrothumeō, which means do not quit or interrupt.
C2 How do we do this?
C3 It is an attitude.
C4 We do this with our friends. We may not talk for awhile when working but then we say something. It is not non-stop talking; it is a readiness to converse with our God.
B3 Fellowship
C1 God does not have a need for fellowship. He enjoys it.
C2 We see this is in the Garden of Eden. We see God and Enoch walking together. We see the Lord Jesus walking with the Apostles. We need to see Him walking with us.
C3 Some verses:
D1 He wanted fellowship with the nation of Israel: Exodus 25:8 NRSV And have them make me a sanctuary, so that I may dwell among them.
D2 All people: Zechariah 2:10-12 NRSV Sing and rejoice, O daughter Zion! For lo, I will come and dwell in your midst, says the LORD. 11 Many nations shall join themselves to the LORD on that day, and shall be my people; and I will dwell in your midst. And you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. 12 The LORD will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem.
D3 Christians: John 14:23 NRSV Jesus answered him, "Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.
A4 Summary
B1 1 Peter 4:7 GW The end of everything is near. Therefore, practice self-control, and keep your minds clear so that you can pray.
B2 Pray without ceasing.
B3 Will you?

Advent for 16 Dec 18

When your days are over and you rest with your ancestors, I will raise up your offspring to succeed you, your own flesh and blood, and I will establish his kingdom. He is the one who will build a house for my Name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever (2 Samuel 7:12–13).

This prophecy was given to King David of Israel. The promise to David is that he would have a descendant who have a kingdom that will never end, that is, David would have a descendant who would be king forever. This was accomplished at the birth of Jesus: This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham (Matthew 1:1). Revelation 19:16 NRSV  On his robe and on his thigh he has a name inscribed, "King of kings and Lord of lords. Be thankful for a great and loving King.

15 December 2018

Advent for 15 Dec 18

Genesis 3:15 And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel. This is another fulfilled prophecy. 1 John 3:8 The one who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work. 

Messiah comes to destroy the devil’s works, which we all experience from sickness, war, sorrow, anger, and pain. We do not see this fulfilled today, but it will. Be thankful for Messiah who has come to destroy the devil’s works.