Faith Blog

GOOD CONVERSATIONS

Ephesians 2:4-6

Initiative and response.  Good conversations among friends can be so satisfying.  How stimulating gracious people are.  Each person’s initiative in conversation, their welcome response, their intuitive timing, our hunger and delight for grace through them, their grins and smiles, affirmation on a roll----as a fresh breeze much appreciated.  Much needed.  Reflective of the Father, who in giving us His Spirit leads us to have conversations in grace with Him.  His initiative and our response is the beginning of a life giving life long conversation . . . .  Because of His great love for us, He made us alive with Christ and seated us with Him in order that He might express to us His kindness in Christ Jesus.   Conversing with Him.  Gracious gift.

 

Posted by Rick Reed with

OUR GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD!

When pagan kings come calling, the results are almost never good. Although Hezekiah, King of Judah “did right” in the sight of the Lord (2 Kings 18:3), and had trusted the Lord to deliver his people from the mighty King of Assyria (2 Kings 19), he let down his guard and showed Merodach-Baladan, King of Babylon, all of his treasures, his armory and everything in his house.  The Lord was not pleased with Hezekiah’s action (likely an act of pride), and sent Isaiah to inquire about it and to let Hezekiah know that there would be consequences (treasures would all be taken and descendants captured – which happened within the next century).  Sin always has consequences!

But despite Israel’s failures, the Lord continued to have compassion on his people. Through a “voice” He called out “Clear the way for the Lord in the wilderness, make smooth in the desert a highway for our God” (Is. 40:3).  Isaiah described one who was coming to his people like a mighty one, a shepherd and one who was all powerful.  John the Baptist also proclaimed the words of Isaiah centuries later (Matt. 3:3), so that everyone would be aware that prophecy was being fulfilled with the coming of “the glory of the Lord,” that is, Jesus Christ himself!  Such a deliverer was very encouraging news to those in Isaiah’s day, and to those in John the Baptist’s day.  Isaiah then describes for us some of God’s character, saying that He “never grows faint or weary” and that “no one can measure the depths of His understanding.”  In addition, God told Isaiah and the Israelites “I have chosen you and not rejected you…I am with you…I am your God…I will strengthen you…I will help you.”   And He does the same for us today!

The Apostle Paul was well-versed in the law and the writings of Isaiah. In Ephesians Chapter 1, Paul has even more good news for those who’ve trusted in Jesus Christ.  He tells his audience that those who have believed in Christ were chosen (predestined) by God even before the world began.  His holy and unchanging plan was to adopt us into His family through Jesus Christ, and that we, therefore, become “holy and blameless” (without fault) in His eyes.  To those who allege that one could possibly lose his salvation – here is yet another passage to refute such a position – one cannot be “holy and blameless” before Him if his salvation has been lost.  Paul makes it absolutely clear that not only have believers been predestined but, even more importantly, they’ve been “sealed in Him” (identified as His own) with the Holy Spirit of promise!  What a tremendous gift!  So, we must not be ignorant of the significance of the power of the Holy Spirit, but rather, we’re to grow in understanding and in the knowledge of God (Eph. 1:17-18).  Just how powerful is the Christ in whom we trust?  He is:  seated at God’s right hand…He is far above all rule and authority and power and dominion and every name…He has all things in subjection under His feet… and is head over all things (Eph. 1:20-22).

The Psalm writer David also describes the power and awesomeness of God in Psalm 66, inviting us to “come and see what our God has done.” He made a dry path through the Red Sea…He rules forever…He watches every movement of the nations (vss. 6-7).  And He expects us to keep our heart right by confessing our sin so that our relationship with God won’t be broken - - “If I regard (harbor) wickedness in my heart, the Lord will not hear.” (vs. 18)   But thankfully, mercifully, God still hears us (vs. 19)!

Finally, David’s son, Solomon, also knows that it is critical to give our heart to wisdom (to the Lord) to keep us out of the trap of immorality (Prov. 23:25-28).

Posted by Mark Red with

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