November 14 – Abundance of Positive Matters

“May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.”  2 Peter 1:2 (ESV)

These words are a prayer of blessing written by the Apostle Peter in the second letter he wrote to believers.  What a great difference our lives become when we come to know God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. “This is a strengthened form of “knowledge” implying a larger, more thorough, and intimate knowledge. The Christian’s precious faith is built on knowing the truth about God (cf. v. 3). Christianity is not a mystical religion, but is based in objective, historical, revealed, rational truth from God and intended to be understood and believed. The deeper and wider that knowledge of the Lord, the more “grace and peace” are multiplied.1” When we accept Jesus as our Savior, God brings us into His family and begins to reveal himself to us.  He wants us to know Him and to keep learning more and more about Him. Our verse today tells us what happens when we learn to know our Lord better. We read that we receive grace and peace in abundance through knowing Him. It will be true as we learn to know Him better. What a benefit is promised to us here.

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[1] John F. MacArthur Jr., The MacArthur Study Bible: New American Standard Bible., (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers, 2006), 2 Pe 1:2.

September 20 – Why To Obey?

“See, I am setting before you today a blessing and a curse: the blessing, if you listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, which I am commanding you today; and the curse, if you do not listen to the commandments of the Lord your God, but turn aside from the way which I am commanding you today, by following other gods which you have not known.” – Deuteronomy 11:26-28  (NASB)

To be listening to the commandments of the Lord is to be in obedience to God. The Children of Israel were about to enter the Promised Land and Moses gave these instructions. It drove home the importance of obedience and trust in God. Throughout the Bible we find much about obedience. But we consider obedience to be an infringement on our so-called “free will.” With that free-will it is impossible for one to obey. We need God o obey God as it is a gift of God. It’s not a chore; it’s a blessing. When we obey blessing and joy is poured out into our hearts. We find in Scriptures reasons why obedience to God is important. We looked at one yesterday. “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” (John 14:15). A Second reason is Jesus calls us to Obey.  He’s the perfect model of obedience. As God’s children, we follow Christ’s example as well as his commands. Our motivation is love just as Jesus obeyed His Father’s commandments. “If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.” (John 15:10.)

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 February 17 – Happy or Blessed

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,” – Ephesians 1: (NASB)

Sometimes common usage of a word might lead to a slightly different meaning that the original intended. Say it often enough or read it frequently and the meanings merge. This results sometimes in losing the significance of what the author intended. And example is the exchange of the English words ‘blessed’ and ‘happy.’  Sometimes a Scripture reference with blessed is read as if it says happy. There certainly is a similarity between the meanings. Our passage today uses forms of the word ‘bless’ three different ways. First is ‘blessed be’ as an adjective which is applied only to God in the New Testament Greek. Second is ‘has blessed’ as a verb and communicates God’s promise that He has already given believers total blessing. Third is “spiritual blessing’ used as a noun and not immaterial as opposed to material blessings, but rather speaks of the work of God as the divine source of all blessings we are receiving, have received, and will receive. It is worth noting that it is “in the heavenly” domain from where all blessings come. We may well have joy and happiness because of this promise but saying were ‘happy’ would use a different word.

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