I have so many verses I turn to and at different times in my life some I found myself contemplating more than others. Among the many “favorite verses” would be II Corinthians 5:14,15: “For the love of Christ constrains us; because we thus judge, that if One died for all, then were all dead: and that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them and rose again.”
It is the simplicity and profoundness of the Gospel. Jesus Christ gave Himself in the death of the cross to redeem all men unto God. Those who repent and believe on Him find the Lord working a new desire in their heart and begin to want what He wants because they want to please Him that loves them so much. This constraining love of Christ makes us aware of Him, His purpose, His ways, His plan and puts to death the things that our flesh would exalt and pursue for our lives. It is the work of God in us, and there is no true son of God by the new birth that does not experience this work. Any who say the are God´s children and do not experience this constraining love of Christ that transforms their life, have yet to experience the repentance and faith that God works in a man through the Gospel.
Scott & Norma Edwards have been faithfully serving in Portugal since August 1987. Marsh Lane Baptist Church is proud to support them. You can find out more about Scott and Norma on their Facebook pages and website linked below:
My favorite Bible Scripture changes all the time. It depends on what I am doing, or have to do. On my job it is, “Work as though you were working for the Lord…Colossians 3:23-24”. I don’t want to be at work sometimes and I need the reminder: my life is not my own, it is the Lord’s, so, I must work as though I work for the Lord. In my marriage where my husband leads me, where he is household leader and family leader, I employ, “Wives submit to your husbands…in everything…Ephesians 5:22-24.” I know God will honor this because God is righteous. It is His character to honor His word. So, I submit. In everything. Even to dubious decisions and choices. Yes, I really do, fellow wives. Then, I watch God as He makes it all unbelievably righteous and outtacontrol-awesome as only our God can. But I digress.
One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Jeremiah 33:14 (KJV): “Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will perform that good thing which I have promised unto the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.”
This verse says that the BEST things in God’s program are still ahead of us!
The Holy Spirit through Jeremiah directly rebuts the anti-semetic replacement theology* that is emerging again in American Evangelical Christianity. This (errant) interpretation of the Bible maintains that God is finished with Israel as a nation and has replaced them entirely under the New Covenant with Christians.**
We are reminded not to get the “cart before the horse”- our salvation comes through Israel, and we are the “wild olive branches”, not the native tree! (Rom. 11:17,24). In Jer.33, while it is clear that the blessing must come through the Messiah (Jesus Christ), it is more subtle that His immanent (any moment) return fulfills the prophetic potential of Jer.33:17, 20 & 21 “Thus saith the LORD; If ye can break my covenant of the day, and my covenant of the night, and that there should not be day and night in their season; Then may also my covenant be broken with David my servant, that he should not have a son to reign upon his throne; and with the Levites the priests, my ministers.” If the Son of David (Matt.21:9) were not immediately available at any time to “reign”, then this Scripture has been proven false since the destruction of the 2nd Temple and the dispersion of the Israelis in A.D 70. But God swore “by day and night” (the very nature of the universe as we see it; that’s quite an oath!) that David would ALWAYS have an available heir to be enthroned. As surely as the earth turns…Israel and Judah will be blessed.
God then promises with the same oath that He will NEVER completely cast away Israel (Jer. 33:25,26)! This was prefaced by the amazing statement that “Judah and Israel will be saved” in this promise, which brings us back to the thrill of being a Christian in our day, when the world frowns and nominal Christians are turning away from Israel: Romans 11:26 states “And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob“. Notice that neither God nor we are saying that the blessing is because Israel can “do no wrong”. The rest of Romans 11 makes it clear that Israel’s unbelief is our present opportunity to be included in God’s eternal promises. The very fulfillment of the Lord’s “good thing…promised to Israel and Judah” clearly spells the end of the Age of Grace (“times of the gentiles” Luke 21:24), and our redemption, which Jesus explained in the rest of Luke 21, referring to His return (vs. 27), the Parable of the Fig Tree, and His promise that when these events begin, “the Kingdom of God is at hand”. Christ ended the Luke passage with another oath (vs.33) “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.”
I think it’s time to believe the Book, NOT turn away. I think Jesus meant what He said in both Jeremiah and the Gospels. I believe it is time to believe. Time to Look up!***
**John Hagee and David Brog “The End of Evangelical Support for Israel?” http://makeadifference.cufi.org/?p=3453
***The Bible: Psalm 24:7,9; Luke 21:28