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Archive for March, 2010

I am realizing that there is no way I am going to be able to cover all of the background that Dr. Bookman covered, but I would like to begin a few weeks before what we refer to as Palm Sunday.  It was at some point between the Feast of Dedication (John 10:22) and the Passover (John 12:1) that Lazarus died (I believe Dr. Bookman said this was probably about 3 weeks before Passover).  Here are some main observations about this HUGE event (this takes place in John 11):

1)      The raising of Lazarus was the only miracle in the Lord’s ministry which was deliberately made more spectacular than it might have been.  Jesus purposefully waited two days to come (v.6).  He timed it to where Lazarus would have been dead four days.  In the Jewish custom, they laid the body in the tomb and left it open for 3 days for people to come in and out, kind of like an extended funeral visitation, then the tomb would have been sealed on the evening of the third day.  So Lazarus’ body would have begun to decay and have been sealed up in there at least all night – that’s why Martha said “He’s gonna stink by now.” (v.39)  There was no denying that Lazarus had been dead.  But in obedience to the words of Jesus, he got up and came out of that tomb!

2)      The raising of Lazarus was the miracle that was most thoroughly credible, supported by undeniable evidence.  Probably everyone in the town of Bethany had come to pay their respects and comfort Lazarus’ sisters.  They all knew he had been dead, yet here he is coming out of the tomb undeniably alive!  I can only imagine, it must have been the talk of the town, and it spread quickly to Jerusalem (v.46).

3)      The raising of Lazarus was clearly intended to supply the Jewish nation with one more incontrovertible proof of Jesus’ Messianic claims.  Just another thought to add here, most of the Jews were expecting a warrior-king to lead them in rebellion against Rome.  Dr. Bookman pointed out: wouldn’t it be attractive to be on the side of the guy who can raise people from the dead?

In vv.45-57, we are given an entire synopsis of the results of this miracle.  Many people believed in Jesus, but some didn’t and went to tell the Pharisees what happened.  This made the Pharisees angrier with Jesus and now they determined that He must be caught and killed.  So it was no longer safe for Jesus to be out in public and we are told that he retreated to a little town called Ephraim, which Dr. Bookman said was probably on the border of Judea and Samaria.

So as the Passover approached, everyone was talking amongst themselves, wondering if Jesus would even dare to come to Jerusalem.  Meanwhile, Dr. Bookman thinks that Jesus and His disciples were making their way through Samaria to join the group travelling down from Galilee.

And with that, I’m going to have to end for now.  To be continued… 🙂

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Why do we call this “the passion week of Christ”?  In the King James Version of Acts 1:3, Luke uses the term “his passion” when briefly reviewing what he presented in his gospel.  Strong’s concordance and dictionary defines the Greek word (paschō) thus: “apparently a primary verb; to experience a sensation or impression (usually painful) :- feel, passion, suffer, vex.”  So, in saying that this is the passion week of Christ, I can safely say that this was the most intense week of Christ’s earthly life and ministry.

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”  Philippians 2:5-8

Before I go any farther, I want to share something Dr. Bookman said that really got me.  Many Christians tend to regard Jesus Christ as God pretending to be man.  Not in terms of doctrine, but in the way we read the stories.   All of us Sunday school kids can spit out without a second thought “Jesus was 100% God and 100% man at the same time.”  But do you really believe that He had human limitations? 

We all know that “we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.” (Heb. 4:15)  It is easy to think of this just in physical terms such as the fact that He got hungry and He got tired.  Here’s what Dr. Bookman said, “Jesus never surrendered any aspect of His deity.  He did, however, surrender full access to all of those attributes.”  In other words, Dr. Bookman explained, he believes that Jesus’ human limitations included intellectual limitations such as that He didn’t know what the weather was going to be like the next day or what everyone was thinking while He was on earth.  This may sound incorrect and irreverent, but it makes sense to me that He had to become like us in more than just the physical realm if He was really going to understand what we go through.  You probably agree with me when I say that doubtless a large percentage of the trials I face are in the realm of the mind.

 “Therefore, in all things He had to be made like His brethren, that He might be a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for the sins of the people. 18 For in that He Himself has suffered, being tempted, He is able to aid those who are tempted.” (Heb 2:17-18)

I’ve probably spent more time on this that I should have, but I want to make sure we all enter this study with the full realization that Jesus was completely human.  I don’t mean at all to undermine the fact that He was fully God, incapable of sin, and the only worthy sacrifice to save us from eternal death.  I just had never really thought much about it before and wanted to share that with you.

 “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”  Philippians 2:5-8

It still amazes me that He was willing to do all that because He loved me!

“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!” Romans 11:33

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Introduction

Hey everyone!  Guess what this Sunday is!  Easter!! 

I thought it would be appropriate this week if we think about what went on in Jerusalem the week before Jesus died… and rose from the dead!  A few weeks ago at our church we had Dr. Doug Bookman come and teach a Bible conference that centered on this very event.  Dr. Bookman (http://www.bookmanministries.com/) has studied the life of Christ for many years and has so much wonderful information to share!  The conference dramatically affected my perspective about my Savior, and I am hoping to share with you some of my notes as soon as I have time to sort them out and get them typed up.  🙂

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I absolutely have the best parents in the world! I’m not bias at all… 😉 Although I have the best parents in the world I sometimes want someone else to believe in me, support me, encourage me, and basically build me up! What about you? I believe deep down everyone wants that. God made us that way! 1 Thes 5:11 a says, “Therefore encourage one another and build each other up.”. Also, Proverbs 27:17 says,  “Iron sharpeneth iron. So, a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.”. We are to encourage each other. Friends can encourage each other, but a husband and wife knows each others strengths, weaknesses, quarks, fears, joys, and hurts better than anyone else. Who do you think can help better than anyone else then? You’re right! Their partner! It goes back to the intimacy thing. When we have intimacy with someone they know us better than anyone else. Also, the Bible talks about help meets. Where one person is weak the other is strong. They compliment each other! If two people do not compliment each other with the personalities do you think that they can effectively do God’s will? They could do it…. but not near as well as if they encouraged each other and made it where each ones best personality traits showed!

So, when you are looking for a spouse… What does God say you should look for? Some one who can help you and together you can effect God’s kingdom in better ways than you could alone!

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There are three reasons and some of them have already been guessed, but we are going to discuss each one! ok? Hope so! The first one is that man should not be alone. He needs a help meet! Genesis 2:18 says, ” The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”. Girls, oh so often I think we miss this. Our culture tells us that we girls can do anything a guy can do! Is that the way God made it though? No… We do have the ability to do anything God wants us to, with His power, but He set it up though in such a way that we would have support and a helper (our husbands!)! Guys it’s the same way for you! One of the reasons God gives us a spouse is so that we will not be lonely and so that we can better glorify His kingdom! Do you see the difference between the worlds reason for marriage and God’s reason? The world’s reasons are all about ourselves, what we want and what we can get out of it, yet God’s reasons are more geared towards others and how we can give glory to God!! It all has to do with our mind set! 🙂

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This one didn’t come as quite a shock to me. It still is against what our culture says though. Proverbs 31:30 says, “Favour is deceitful and beauty is vain. A woman who feareth the Lord, she shall be praised!”. In another translation it says, “Fleeting” instead of, “vain”. Beauty only last so long guys! Same for us girls who want the guy with the six pack or who can play this sport the best or that sport the best. It only last so long!!

Have you ever seen an 70 year old woman with perfect skin, everything is in the same place it was 50 years ago, still have gorgeous long hair? I doubt it! Beauty is fleeting… Have you ever seen a 70 woman who is in love with God so that she looks as beautiful as any 20 year old? She may not be able to get around well, but she has more life and joy in her because of Christ than you can imagine!

I once heard a quote and obviously as you can tell in past post I’m terrible at remembering where I heard them or who said them, but it said, “Skin deep is only skin deep”. This sounds lame at first, but it is the truth. We put so much emphasis on the outside and our culture tells us that it is all that matters. Yet, we know the truth. Where does Christ look when He looks at us? He looks at our hearts!! If we are suppose to be like Christ then where should we look at others? AT THEIR HEARTS!

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Again, when i first heard this I thought, “Ummmmm duh! Of course marriage should make you happy!”. Then I actually began thinking about it through what God’s word says. Happy is just another word for joyful. Are we suppose to rely on something or someone else to make us happy? Our culture says of course we are. Drugs, alcohol, sex, bad friends, and many other things are suppose to make us happy. Do they work though? Honestly, sometimes they do…. but only for a little while. God’s joy last forever. Which would you rather have? You could enter into a marriage because the other person makes you “Happy”, but what happens when they no longer make you happy or you guys are fighting?The world says leave and find someone else who does make you happy. What does God’s word say about this?

Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield;
my heart trusts in him, and I am helped.
My heart leaps for joy
and I will give thanks to him in song.

Hebrews 12:2 Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

God’s word tells us that true joy comes from Him and Him alone! If you are souly in love with God then your joy will not end… period. Does that make sense? I think once you break it down it makes sense, yet we so often hear what the world says about love that we forget what God says. I know I do! So, when you hear someone say, “They just make me so happy!” remember how that is fine, but that there happiness will only last so long unless there joy comes from the Lord! If their joy comes from the Lord it will last forever!

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