Christ Alone

by David Cook

There is one God,
and one mediator between God and mankind,
the man Christ Jesus;
Who gave himself a ransom for all,

1 Timothy 2:5-6 HSV

The-three-crosses JESUS Film

Christ Jesus is the Mediator between God in heaven and mankind.  Christ gave His own life as a ransom for all.  Jesus gave His own blood to purchase all who would believe in Him.

“Christus Sollus” Latin for “Christ Alone”.

 

Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world!

His death was an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Jesus is the Lamb of God who came to take away the sin of the world.

Saint Paul wrote; “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”  2 Corinthians 5:21 NKJV

In the Jewish Bible we read a prophecy about the Messiah;

But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Isaiah 53:5-6 NKJV

Christ alone was without sin.  The perfect Lamb of God sacrificed His life for sinful men and women.  The just died for the unjust.  The only One who alone was all together righteous died for all of the unrighteous.

Thanks be to God for His amazing grace and the gift of eternal salvation!

It’s good to give thanks to God for giving His beloved Son Jesus so that all who believe in Him may have eternal life.

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Prince of Heaven

by David Cook

Christmas by children of St Paul's Church, Auckland, New Zealand

Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”    Luke 1:30-33 NKJV

The birth of the Prince of Heaven is the hope of the world.

We read a prophecy about the Messiah, the Prince of Heaven in the Jewish Tanakh in the book of Isaiah;

For unto us a Child is born,

Unto us a Son is given;

And the government will be upon His shoulder.

And His name will be called

Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of His government and peace

There will be no end,

Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,

To order it and establish it with judgment and justice

From that time forward, even forever.

The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Isaiah 9:6-7 NKJV

The Prince of Heaven is the Son of the Highest. He is the Prince of Peace, the promised Son of David, the Son of the living God, and is a Mighty God. The kingdom of the Messiah will last forever.

 

Have you ever considered what was going through the mind and heart of God before He gave His beloved Son to be born in Bethlehem?

 

 

Messiah’s Birth Announced to Mary

26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”

29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was. 30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus. 32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David. 33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”

35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren. 37 For with God nothing will be impossible.”

38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Luke 1:26-38 NKJV

To read more of the miraculous Advent account read Luke chapters 1 & 2 and Matthew chapters 1 & 2.

Yeshua is love incarnate.  God revealed His love for the people of the world by sending His beloved Son to earth.  Yeshua gave His life as a ransom for our sins, He is our Savior!

Long ago wise men came from afar to worship the Prince of Heaven.  Wise men and women from far and wide today come before the Prince of Heaven to worship Him.

Metanoia

by David Cook

 

For thus the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel,
has said, “In repentance and rest you will be saved,
In quietness and trust is your strength.”
But you were not willing,

Isaiah 30:15 NASB

 

Metanoia is an ancient Greek word (μετάνοια) that means “changing one’s mind”, as in repentance.[1]  God invites us to have a change of mind and to enter into His rest and find salvation.  To be still, and know that He is God.  And to trust in the Lord with all of your heart, and not to rely on your own understanding.

Yet so often, we are not willing.

 

Metanoia Definition

So where are you on your spiritual journey?

Have you come to a point of metanoia?  Have you had a change of mind, a change of heart and discovered a new way of life?

metamorphosis-monarch-butterfly

Monarch caterpillar, chrysalis, and butterfly – by Renee Dawson

Have you experienced a metamorphose and been transformed into a new creation? Have you been transformed from a larva crawling upon the earth to a butterfly who can now spread your wings and fly empowered by the Spirit of the Lord?

“Therefore repent and return, so that your sins may be wiped away,
in order that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord”
Acts 3:19 NASB

God’s ambassadors invite us to repent and return to the Lord so you can find forgiveness and peace with God and be refreshed.  The early apostles, “solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.” [2]

Baptism

Baptism is a visual representation of our transformed life.  As we go under the water it demonstrates a death and burial to our sinful self and our sinful ways.  As we come up out the water it reminds us that we have been given a new self that loves to please God and walk in new life in Christ.

The apostle Paul wrote about this to believers living in Rome;

What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin; for he who has died is freed from sin.

Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, is never to die again; death no longer is master over Him. 10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God. 11 Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus.

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its lusts,13 and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. 14 For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law but under grace.  Romans 6:1-14 NASB

The apostle Peter reveals God’s heart towards the people He created;
The Lord is not slow about His promise,
as some count slowness, but is patient toward you,
not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.  2 Peter 3:9 NASB

[1] Metanoia an ancient Greek word that means “changing one’s mind”.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metanoia

[2] solemnly testifying to both Jews and Greeks of repentance toward God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.  Acts 20:21 NASB

 

Trust in God

Moses Red Sea

Moses at the Red Sea from the Ten Commandments Movie, Paramount Pictures

By David Cook

 

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB

Sometimes you are waiting at the edge of the Red Sea in need of a divine  miracle.  But the miracle you are asking God for doesn’t come.  Sometimes the answer your seeking isn’t given, at least not in the way or time you expected and hoped for.  So what can you do?

We have been given numerous examples in the Tanakh (Jewish Bible) and in the New Testament where at times God showed up in answer to prayers and the faith of His people.  There are times when heaven is silent and seemingly His people are left alone to suffer or wait on God’s timing.

We read in the book of Exodus how God’s people suffered in Egypt while they were afflicted, “enslaved and oppressed four hundred years” under the harsh treatment of the  Pharaohs.[1]  After many years, God sent a deliverer…Moses.

God worked through Moses to do several miracles in Egypt to demonstrate God’s power and so Pharaoh would let the Hebrew people go.  The final plague against Egypt and the miracle to protect the Hebrew people was God sent the destroyer to kill all the firstborn of the Egyptians.  Yet Yehovah passed over the Hebrew homes that had the blood of a lamb placed on the door post and lintel of their home.  This event is celebrated each year at the Passover Seder.[2]  Finally, Pharaoh set the Hebrew people free from slavery and let them go into the desert to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

For the LORD will pass through to strike the Egyptians,
and when he sees the blood on the lintel and on the two doorposts,
the LORD will pass over the door and will not allow the destroyer
to enter your houses to strike you.
Exodus 12:23 ESV

The Passover in Egypt was an event that foreshadows a future event God would do for His people.  Later at the right time; God sent His Son Yeshua who was born of a virgin in Bethlehem.  He is a descendant of King David.  Yeshua became the Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world.[3]  Messiah Yeshua was killed at 3:00 PM on the cross on “the day of Preparation of the Passover”, before the high day miqra Sabbath began at sunset.[4]

But He was pierced through for our transgressions,
He was crushed for our iniquities;
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him,
And by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray,
Each of us has turned to his own way;
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all
To fall on Him.
Isaiah 53:5-6 NASB

Through faith in Him, when His blood is applied by faith to cleanse you from your sins; then the death angel passes over your life.  By God’s grace through faith you can receive forgiveness of sins and eternal life!  Messiah is our Passover Lamb.

Since Messiah our Passover Lamb was sacrificed for us.
-The Apostle Paul
1 Corinthians 5:7 HSV

Finally, Pharaoh set the Hebrew people free from slavery and let them go into the desert to worship the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  But Pharaoh changed his mind and decided to bring them back to Egypt as slaves.  So the Hebrews were a people on the run.  They saw God miraculously part the waters of the Red sea so they could escape the Egyptian army and flee into the Arabian desert.

At times we face events that test our faith, such as the loss of a loved one.  Lauren Daigle was faced with this just before she went into the studio to record her “How Can It Be” album.  Out of this time of grief and loss the song “Trust In You” was birthed.

Your faith in God, pleases God:  Trust is another word for faith.  To trust in God is to have faith in God.  We read in the book of Hebrews about the patriarchs and some of the heroes of the Tanakh.

17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was offering up his only begotten son; 18 it was he to whom it was said, “In Isaac your descendants shall be called.” 19 He considered that God is able to raise people even from the dead, from which he also received him back as a type. 20 By faith Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau, even regarding things to come. 21 By faith Jacob, as he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff. 22 By faith Joseph, when he was dying, made mention of the exodus of the sons of Israel, and gave orders concerning his bones.

23 By faith Moses, when he was born, was hidden for three months by his parents, because they saw he was a beautiful child; and they were not afraid of the king’s edict. 24 By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, 25 choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, 26 considering the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt; for he was looking to the reward. 27 By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing Him who is unseen. 28 By faith he kept the Passover and the sprinkling of the blood, so that he who destroyed the firstborn would not touch them. 29 By faith they passed through the Red Sea as though they were passing through dry land; and the Egyptians, when they attempted it, were drowned.

30 By faith the walls of Jericho fell down after they had been encircled for seven days. 31 By faith Rahab the harlot did not perish along with those who were disobedient, after she had welcomed the spies in peace.

32 And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, 33 who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, 34 quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection; 36 and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. 37 They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated 38 (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground.

39 And all these, having gained approval through their faith, did not receive what was promised, 40 because God had provided something better for us, so that apart from us they would not be made perfect.   Hebrews 11 NASB

We read in Proverbs 3 to, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart”. Trust in the Lord with your all.  Yeshua the Messiah taught us to ‘love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’[4]  On earth, we have various trials, tribulations and disappoints, some minor and some are major.  But at ‘the end of day’, certainly at the end of the age when Messiah Yeshua returns for His people; those who trust in the Lord will not be disappointed.

[1] God said to Abram, “Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, where they will be enslaved and oppressed four hundred years.” Genesis 15:13 NASB, and also see Acts 7:6.

[2] The first Passover in Egypt, Exodus 12:1-13.

[3] the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!  John 1:29 ESV.

[4] Mark 15:34, John 19:14 & 31, Exodus 12:6, miqra (the Hebrew word meaning ‘called assembled’) Sabbath.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Sabbaths

[5] Messiah Yeshua taught on the greatest commandment written in the Torah.  We can read this teaching in the gospel of Matthew 22:37.

The Story of Marriage

by David Cook

Marriage is a divine idea. God instituted marriage when there was just one man and one women on earth. Their marriage was a match made in heaven.

Then the Lord God said,
“It is not good for the man to be alone;
I will make him a helper suitable for him.”
Genesis 2:18 NASB

 

john-lisa-photo

For John, it was love at first site when he saw Lisa in her “customized short, shorts” and beautiful legs at Purdue University.  After 32 years of marriage they have learned a few lessons along the road.  You’ll be enriched by this enlightening and fascinating interview of John and Lisa Bevere as they share their courtship, romance and life as a newly married couple and the difficult adjustments they faced.

God wants a husband and wife to be intimate allies not enemies. In this talk Lisa Bevere gives us some “real talk”, true stories about their early marriage. At the onset of their marriage Lisa and John tried to change each other into the perfect spouse each had envisioned for themselves. As opposed to accepting one another and loving one another and allowing God to work His transformation in each person in His time and in His way. Lisa and John learned that they could be giving each other the grace and space they needed to be all that God has called them to be at that time.

Jesus said you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free, and you will be free indeed.  My heart and prayer is as you listen to John and Lisa share about their story of marriage you can learn from their life lessons and be set free to have a marriage where you can love courageously and enjoy the life God has given you with your spouse.

“If you continue in My word,
then you are truly disciples of Mine;
and you will know the truth,
and the truth will make you free.”
–Jesus the Messiah, John  8:31-32 NASB