Man was created by God out of dust and the inbreathing of the Spirit of God into that dust. The first man was named Adam, and his descendants are of his race. His race is summed up in the phrase, “A wicked generation,” (Mat 12:45). The teaching in the N.T. is that Jesus is not merely of our humanity, but he is the second man, the last Adam, and the founder of an entirely new race – a race that is born again.
Jesus is the first Man of a new race, and he is an infinite mystery to those of the old race. He is a mystery because one cannot be a member of this new race by their works, obedience to the law, or the recitation of a creed. One can only a member of His race by doing of the will of God. What is the will of God? The will of God is to repent, confess Jesus as the Christ, and be baptized. When a person obeys God’s will they are reborn. The Holy Spirit takes that person and mysteriously remakes them into a member of the new race.
Jesus said, “Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother,” (Matt 13:50). Those who are reborn mysteriously become related to Jesus and thereby enter into a new relationship with God. Jesus said, “Whoever,” so the choice is ours to make.
Free to choose,
There is one phrase in Matthew chapter twelve that is a common thread through the chapter’s entirety: “One greater than …,” (6, 42, & 43). Though the phrase is the same, notice the subject of the phrase is different. Jesus speaking said, “One greater than the temple is here,” “One greater than Jonah is here,” and “One greater than K. Solomon is here.” Jesus states in this one phrase that he is greater than the three great institutions in Israel – the temple, the prophets, and the kings.
Mankind is ever in need of someone who is greater than itself to make it better than itself. Thus mankind is ever in need of a prophet who will speak the Word of God into our lives. Mankind is ever in need of a priest who will go before us and speak to God on our behalf. Mankind is ever in need of a king who is worthy to rule over us.
Never before or after Jesus has there been a man qualified to fulfill all three roles of prophet, priest, and king. Jesus is our prophet for he speaks the word of truth into our lives. Jesus is our priest who offered himself as the one last sacrifice that satisfies the needs of the law once and for all times to those who will accept it. Jesus is our king, for He now sits enthroned over all creation. Jesus is our Prophet, our Priest, and our King.
Do you know him?
Our country is in the midst of changing its leadership. It seems the seat of our government is presently empty. It also seems there is much national corruption, world chaos, and municipal rottenness with too many dilettantes playing the fool; there are problems everywhere. Our change in government reminded me of something Isaiah wrote, “In the year that king Uzziah died, (6:1). Uzziah was the only king Isaiah had known, and suddenly the throne was empty, and chaos was everywhere. But then Isaiah wrote, “I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up.”
As we stand on the threshold of 2017, do we have a vision of our government being an empty throne, do we have a vision of worldwide chaos, or are we able to look past the empty throne and the chaos and have a vision of God enthroned? Such a vision of God is not one of an empty throne, or one of a throne that is tottering, but one where God is holy, in charge, and in control.
If we begin this year by first seeing God high-up and above all earthly thrones. If we can see that His throne is never empty, never trembles, and never changes. Then we can see, and we can know that God is very much in charge, in control, and that He has provided us with the answers to all of humanity’s ills. That answer is the evangel of Jesus Christ.
He is in control,
Jesus said, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Behind every person is a motive that drives them. It’s what makes us rise in the morning and work through the day. Even the lazy person has a motive; it’s to do nothing. We all have passions that masters us, and that is what Jesus is dealing with in his words. He is saying if you have the right passion in life, you will find rest. The Old Testament gives us Jesus’ passion, “It is written about me in the scroll. I desire to do your will, O my God” (Ps 40:7-8). Examine Jesus’ life from beginning to end and you will see it is so.
We each have a choice of what to carry into the New Year; our will or God’s will. You may decide to carry your own will into 2017. If that is your decision the year will just be a repeat of the past. Instead, why not accept Jesus’ invitation and take up His yoke. What is Jesus yoke? It is doing the will of God. If you accept His invitation you will find rest, and wouldn’t that make for a great year?
Amos said, “The days are coming, declares the Sovereign Lord, when I will send a famine through the land … a famine of hearing the words of the Lord, (8:11). The prophet described an unusual famine, not one of food, water, or sword, but one of the Word of the Lord. If you read the next verse you learn the result of this famine is a great restlessness in people living in the land.
What is the condition of a place in such a famine? A place without the Word of God is a place when no message from the unseen is recognized as truth. A place where God does not speak to the depths of a person’s life. A place where the people have hardened their hearts, and whose minds are unconscious of God’s presence. It is a place where God’s word still lingers, and is still powerful and sharper than a two-edged sword, yet it fails to affect. Think for a moment, is that what describes our world today? Are people today not hearing God? Is there not a great restlessness about us? Yes!
We today are in a famine similar to the one described by Amos. God is still speaking, but many are no longer listening, and there is a great uneasiness about us. As ones who were once living in that famine, it is time to take the Word of God to those around us who are starved, and end the famine.
Ending the famine,