Friday, May 29, 2020

Genesis 15-17

What does it say?
The word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision. Abram longed for a son because one of his servants would be his aire. God told him in the vision to look at the stars and if he could count them, that is the number of his descendants. I cannot image the stars visible to the eye, in a desert, before electric lighting. Abram believed in the word of the Lord; the Lord reckoned it to him as righteous. The Lord reckons the man who believes His word as righteous. Paul and James relate Christian belief in Christ to this passage. (Rom.4:3; Gal.3:6; Jam.2:23) Abram sacrificed animals and cut them in two and laid them separated, as the Lord commanded. God told Abram that His descendants would be enslaved but He would rescue them and bring them into the land of Canaan. After the sun had set and it was very dark, the Lord passed between the halves and was visible, as a smoking oven and a flaming torch. Since she could not conceive, Sarai reasoned to give Hagar, her Egyptian made, to give Abram a child. Abram listened to the voice of his wife, he went into Hagar and she conceived but the Sarai became jealous and treated Hagar harshly. Let us not forget that the Lord God cursed the ground because Adam listened to the voice of his wife rather than the word of the Lord. Hagar fled but the Angel of the Lord told her to return and submit herself to Sarai but assured her that her descendants through Ismael would be to many to count and they would live east of his brothers and no one would get along with (them) him. Hagar’s descendants would be a thorn in the side of Sarai’s descendants. Abram was 86 years old when Ismael was born. When Abram was 99 years old, which would make Ismael 13 years old, the Lord appeared to Abram and told him to walk before Him and be blameless. Abram fell on his face and the Lord walked with Abram to make him a multitude of nations. The Lord changed his name to Abraham. The Lord covenanted to give the land as an everlasting possession to Abraham’s descendants through his wife Sarai; however, Abraham and his descendants must be circumcised. Because he listened to his wife Sarai and tried to fulfill the word of the Lord through the flesh. The covenant for the land of Canaan and all the the Lord had promised to Abraham would come, not through Ismael but through Isaac whom Sarah would bear. The Lord changed Sarai’s name to Sarah. Abraham said, that God should make Ismael great, He agreed, but told him that the covenant would be fulfilled through his wife Sarah, not Ismael. Abraham, Ismael and all of the male servants were circumcised as the Lord commanded. 

What shall I do?
I shall believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and learn to observe all that He commanded. Jesus Christ has promised eternal life to all who believe in Him. This promise was given to the Jew first and also to every tribe and tongue and people and nation. The Lord has promised eternal life for me and all who believe. However, though all of my sins are paid in full and I have been saved from the penalty of sin, I will always remember my sins and loath myself because of them. Abraham was circumcised of the flesh and I am circumcised of the heart. Abraham bore his shame on the flesh and I bear my shame in the heart. I know that the Lord is transforming me and I will receive what I do not deserve, eternal life in glory. I shall wait on the Lord just as Abraham waited, when he divided the animal halves. I shall not seek my own righteousness through works done in the flesh but shall trust in the righteous given by the grace of God, through faith in His Son, Jesus the Christ our Lord.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Genesis 12-14

What does it say?
The Lord spoke to Abram. Was it audible or was it a vision? I do not know but I do know that the Lord made his will known to Abram and His will was that Abram observe His commandments and the Lord would bless Him; thereby blessing Abram, all of the families of the earth would be blessed. Abram departed his family, as the Lord commanded, to the Land of Canaan. He took Lot his nephew, the son of his dead brother Haran, Sarai his wife, all of the wealth and servants that they accumulated in Haran. The Lord told Abram that He would give the land to his descendants. Abram went to Egypt because there was a famine in Canaan. He lied to the Egyptians and told his wife to lie and say that she was his sister. Pharaoh took Sarai into his household and gave Abram livestock. The Lord struck Pharaoh and his house with plagues because of Sarai; therefore, when Pharaoh heard what Abram had done, he drove him and his wife away. Abram went to the altar that he made between the cities of Bethel and Ai and worshiped the Lord. Is this the site of the temple mount? Lot and Abram separated. Lot went to the Jordan Valley eastward and Abram to the land of Canaan westward. Once in Canaan, the Lord spoke to Abram. Vision? Audible? He told Abram that He will give him and his descendants the land and will make his descendants more numerous than can be numbered. What an incredible thing to hear when you have no children, your wife is barren and you are already an old man. There was war among the kings. The kings of Sodom and Gomorrah were defeated. The victors took the spoils, which included Lot and his possessions. When Abram heard that Lot had been captured, Abram took his men, defeated the captures, brought back lot with all of his possessions and the goods a persons of Sodom. When Abram brought back the goods, he was meet by the king of Sodom and Melchizedek king of Salem who was a priest of God. Melchizedek gave Abram a blessing and Abram gave him a tenth of all the goods. Abram gave back all that was taken to the king of Sodom.

What shall I do?
The Lord God chooses to whom He will be gracious and to whom He will show compassion. No one deserves the blessings of God. Abram was not righteous in that he never sinned. Abram was a liar. He lied to Pharaoh about his wife Sarai and Pharaoh made a bad decision based on Abram’s lie. God punished Pharaoh but blessed Abram. Why? Only God knows! However, I do know that if God says to do something, I should do it, and if God makes a promise, He will do it. God promised Abram land and many descendants. God fulfilled this promise to Abram. God also told him that in him all of the nations of the earth would be blessed. Jesus Christ is the descendant of Abram by whom God would bless every family on the earth. At this point in the redemptive journey, the promise is not fully disclosed but will find fulfillment in the person of Jesus Christ. I cannot comprehend what it will by like at the consummation, when heaven and earth are made new, and God’s will is done on earth as it is in heaven. Like Abram, I have difficulty seeing but I trust the word of the Lord. I shall walk through this life by faith in the promises of the Lord and not by sight; I presently see with my human eyes. The patients that I take care of are broken but they were created in the image of God. I work at the beside as a registered nurse, ministering to the physical and spiritual needs of broken people. This is what the Lord God has given me to do for His kingdom and I shall do this for Jesus’ sake. Nursing is the occupation that God has called me too; therefore, I shall understand this calling as ministry.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Genesis 9-11

What does it mean?
God blessed Noah and his sons in much the same way that He had blessed the first man and woman in Gn.1:28. He told them to be fruitful and multiply; however, instead of telling them to rule over the living creatures of the earth God put the fear of man into the creatures. Also, instead of giving them the vegetation of the earth for food, God gave them the living creatures for food but not while they still had life in them. There is also a remembrance that above all creatures, man is special because man was made in the image of God; therefore, man shall not be killed. God then made a covenant for man and all living things, that He would never again destroy all flesh with a worldwide flood again. As a sign of the covenant God created the rainbow. Through Noah’s sons the entire earth was populated. This means that every person on the earth has a common ancestry in Noah and his wife. It did not take long before sin entered into the family. Noah cursed Canaan but blessed shem and Japeth before he died. The sons of Noah and their sons separated and populated the earth after the flood. However, they were not willing to separate but instead began to build a city and exalt themselves, so God gave them different languages and scattered them over the face of the whole earth. Why were there people in North and South America when the explorers came across the Atlantic? The answer is God scattered them there. The word of God then focuses on the family of Shem to his descendant Terah the father of Abram, Nahor and Haran; and Haran was the father of Lot but Haran died. Abram’s wife was Sarai and Nahor’s wife was Milcah. The text makes special note that Sarai was barren. Terah took his family and they settled in Haran. After separating the people of the earth God focused His attention on Abram the son of Terah and Abram’s barren wife Sarai. 

What Shall I do?
I know that the Lord is a covenant making and a covenant keeping God. I shall trust the Lord our God who has revealed Himself in Jesus Christ the Lord. God has promised eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord; therefore, I shall trust in the Lord Jesus Christ to raise me from the dead and save me from hell. God started over with Noah but man quickly returned to sin and rebellion; therefore, of all the families that He scattered around the world He set is sight on Abram who He later called Abraham and his wife Sarai who He later called Sarah. Through this couple God would bring a people and a Savor, who is Christ Jesus the Lord. I do not understand what is happening on the earth today with the global corona virus pandemic and the actions of the worlds governments but I do know that God is sovereign and He “causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” (Rom.8:28) Therefore, I shall trust God: Father and Son and Holy Spirit. I also know that all persons are created in the image of God. Therefore, when I go to work today, I shall care for my patients with the dignity that they are images of our creator God. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Genesis 6-8

What does it mean?
Genesis 6
Men and women began to multiply greatly on the earth and God was not pleased with man; therefore, he restricted man’s life to 120 years. God was sorry that He made man because man was corrupt and his wickedness became abundant; therefore, God decided to destroy man, and all living things but for some reason, Noah found favor in the eyes of the Lord. Noah was a righteous man, he was considered blameless in a time that the earth was corrupt and filled with violence; therefore, his finding favor with God would indicate his non-violence as the possible reason. God told Noah that he was going to destroy the men of the earth with the earth. God planned to cause a great flood. Noah would not have known what this meant and God gave him specific instructions on how He wanted Noah to build the ark which would house him and Noah’s family. The arc would also hold birds, animals and creeping things of every kind, a male and a female of every kind. Noah had never seen a flood before, yet he trusted the word of the Lord and obeyed His commandments. This is another reason that Noah might have found favor with God.
Genesis 7
The world would go on like it had for one more week. God told Noah to enter the arc with his family and the animals, a male and female of every kind but for the animals considered clean, he was to bring them in by male and female pairs of seven. The significance of seven pairs of clean animals and entering the arc seven days before the flood to destroy the earth would indicate perfection. Noah was 600 years old when he entered the arc, trusting the word of the Lord. After the seven days past the earth was flooded. Rain fell on the earth for 40 days and 40 nights. This is looking ahead to Israel’s wonderings in the desert, and more so, the Lord’s time in the desert before beginning His earthly ministry. The arc was lifted up and rose above the earth. The righteous shall rise and meet the Lord in the air. (1Th.4:17) The water even covered the tops of the mountains. Every thing that breathes died, except those carried and protected in the arc. We must be in Christ when the day of destruction comes. 
Genesis 8
After 150 days the water began to decrease. It was on the 17th day of the 2nd month that Noah and his family entered the arc and it was on the 17th day of the 7th month that the arc rested on the mountains of Ararat. 5 months times 30 days equals 150 days but it was not until the 1st day of the tenth month that the tops of the mountains became visible. 40 days later Noah opened the window of the ark. From the time that Noah entered the arc until the earth was dried up was 1 year. The Lord command Noah to go out an he obeyed. Noah took of every clean and bird and burnt offerings to the Lord on an altar and the Lord was pleased. God said that He will never again curse the ground because of man for the heart of man is evil from his youth.

What shall I do?
The main idea is that God looks favorably on the non-violent, who trust His word to obey His commandments. Jesus commanded His disciples to do something that seems strange. He commanded that we should love our enemies, do good to those who hate us, bless those who curse us, and pray for those who mistreat us. He said to not return violence for violence and do not demand back what someone takes. (Lk.6:27-30) The teachings of the Lord are radicle to say the least. Should we trust in our own reasoning or should we trust in the word of the Lord? I shall trust in the word of the Lord. I cannot see the consummation of the ages now but I trust the Lord. The day of the Lord is coming. The corrupt and wicked of the earth will be destroyed and there will be a new heaven and a new earth where righteousness reigns. I cannot see it now, nor do I understand what it will be like but I shall trust in the word of the Lord and observe all that He commanded.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Genesis 3-5

What does it say?
The serpent took the word of God and twisted it, so the woman did what was in her heart, she took from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and ate; she also gave to her husband and he hate. The man and woman hid themselves from the Lord and when the Lord questioned the man about eating from the tree, he blamed the woman and the woman blamed the serpent. The Lord God told the serpent that he is cursed and He will put a state of hostility between him and the woman and between his seed and her seed; her seed will bruise the serpent on the head, yet the serpent will bruise His heel. The Lord told the woman and the man that childbirth would now be increasingly difficult but she would continue to bear children because she would desire her husband and he will rule over her. Adam had been given a garden but now he is to eat through very hard work and overcoming much difficulty; at the end of the days he will return to the dust, the dust that he came from and toiled with all the days of his life. Adam named his wife Eve and God sacrificed animals to cloth and protect their bodies. The Lord God drove the man and woman from the garden to keep them from the tree of life, lest they ate from it and live forever in a state of rebellion against God. Cain and Able were their children; Cain killed Abel because he was jealous because the Lord was pleased with Abels animal offering and not his fruit from the ground. The Lord made Cain unfruitful in farming; therefore, he became a vagrant wonderer but his life was still precious to the Lord. He settled in the land of Nod, east of Eden. Cain took a wife and had a son, his descendants are name through Lamech who exalted himself as greater than Cain who proceed him, though also a murder like Cain. Adam and Eve had a third son named Seth who begot Enosh; Enosh called on the name of the Lord. God had created man, He made them in His image, He created them male and female and blessed them. Adam lived for 930 years, though he had other sons, his descendants are remembered through his third son Seth. Though Seth and each of his sons had many sons and daughters it is remembered that Seth begot Enosh, who begot Kenan, who begot Mahalalel, who begot Jared, who begot Enoch (Enoch was taken by God, halfway through life), who begot Methuselah, who begot Lamech, who begot Noah. Noah’s sons were Shem, Ham, and Japheth. 

What does it mean?
Men and women have dignity because we are created by God in His image. When Cain killed Able he said, “Am I my brothers keeper?” The answer is yes! We are our brothers keeper because every person on earth bears the image of God. The image is marred by sin and the results of sin, the curse, but all human beings should be respected and treated with dignity because all human beings bear the image of God. All human life is precious in the eyes of God; therefore, should not all human life be precious in our eyes? Human life is to be protected and sustained with loving hands to protect it. Even in rebellion against his commandments God showed lovingkindness towards Adam and Eve by sacrificing the life of an animal to cloth them. He also demonstrated his love for Cain’s life even though Cain murdered Abel. God’s protection for the Serpent is that the seed of the woman would crush His head. This is looking forward to the gospel, when God would demonstrate His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom.5:8) 

What shall I do?
I am called to the ministry of nursing. I have often misunderstood this calling and thought that I should do something that men call ministry. What men most think of is pulpit ministry but nursing is ministry. All human life is precious because all human beings bear the image of God who created us. All are marred by the fall but God demonstrated His own love for us at the cross. Should we not love our neighbors and care for there needs. Therefore, I shall continue my work at the beside and see to the needs of my neighbor because I am my brothers keeper. I shall point my patients to the suffering of Jesus Christ on the cross for their redemption and give them hope in the consummation when all things will be made new. 

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Genesis 1-2

What does it say?
In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth; He said let there be light, there was evening and there was morning the first day; thus He created the cycle of a 24 hour day. The second day God created the atmosphere around the earth. The third day God separated the land from the sea and He created vegetation to grow on the land. The fourth day God create the Sun, the moon and the stars. The fifth day God created the fish that swim in the sea and the birds that fly in the sky. The sixth day God created all of the land animals; God created man, male and female in His image to rule over the fish of the sea, the birds if the sky, the earth and every living thing that moves on the earth. God gave man and the beasts the vegetation on the earth for food. The sixth day culminated God’s creation and He rested on the seventh day; therefore, the seventh day should be remembered as holy. God created man from the dust of the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils; God planted a garden and place the man there. In the garden was the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The garden was watered from below and the water flood from the garden forming four rivers. The Lord God put the man in His garden and commanded him cultivate and keep it; the man could eat from any tree, except the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The Lord God created marriage, for He created woman from the flesh of man; thus, a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. 

What does it mean?
The Lord God created the heavens and the earth and the sea and all that they contain. Everything seen and everything not seen was created by God. Man is the special creation of God because God created man, male and female, in his image, to rule on the earth. He commanded man to take care of it and all the living things on the earth; the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky and every creature on the earth. God gave man and beast the vegetation for food. The Lord God put man in His garden as a steward to cultivate it an keep it. Neither the garden, the earth, the sea, the sky nor any of the living things belonged to man; everything created belongs to God. However, man was given a special position in God’s creation as steward and had the freedom within the boundaries that God set. Man could eat from any tree but the knowledge of good and evil. The most beautiful thing that God created was marriage between a man and a woman.

What shall I do?
I have often wondered how to understand this passage. The week long cycled phrase: “There was evening and there was morning, a ____ day.” How should we understand it? God created the cycle of a 24 hour day on the earth. A day is a creation of God and He created a week by resting on the seventh day. We gather together on the Lord’s day; the first day of the week because Jesus rose on the first day of the week. Has the day that we should remember changed? God created everything in six days then he rested on the seventh day. God created man on the sixth day then He rested. Man rebelled; therefore, God is no longer resting but is actively recreating and He is beginning with man. I shall remember the Sabbath when I think about the first creation but I shall remember the Lord’s day because I have sinned. Jesus Christ died for my sins and rose from the dead, forever defeating sin and death. The most beautiful thing that God created was marriage between a man and woman; therefore, I shall love the wife God has given me all the days of my life; Darlene is bone of my bone and flesh of my flesh. 

Saturday, May 23, 2020

Ecclesiastes 9-12

What does it say?
Everything in our lives is in the hands of God. There is one fate for all and that fate is death. Enjoy life with the woman whom God has given you all the days of your fleeting life. Do whatever your hands have found to do. You do not know how much time you have to live. You may never be remembered for your wisdom and work but it is better to be wise than a fool. When a ruler becomes angry, keep your composure and maintain your position. The best person for the job may not be the one who has it. Life is dangerous but do not be afraid to live it, for no man knows what will happen and no one can tell him what will come after him; however, live wisely and not as a fool. You cannot discern the activity of God by watching the creation. No one knows what will work best. Rejoice in all the years that you live but remember the days of darkness. Childhood and the prime of life are fleeting; therefore, take care how you live when you are young because you will pay for it when you are holder and God brings you to judgment. Remember your Creator in the days of your youth because you will grow old, your body will return to the earth and your spirit will return to God who gave it. It is good to read books and write but to much devotion to books can be wearisome. The preachers conclusion to living life: fear God and keep his word because in the end, God will bring every deed and thought to judgment and nothing is hidden from God. 

What does it mean?
Our lives are in the hands of the Living God who created us and gave us life. It is good to enjoy all that God has given to us during this life but within the parameters that He has prescribed in His word. It is best to consider God while you are young because you will grow old and die and after death comes judgment. We should enjoy those around us and the good things that God has given us and we should not be idol but working all the days of our lives. It is good to study and learn but you also need recreation. The best way to live, is to have a balanced amount of learning, working and recreation. Spending to much time on one of these, while neglecting the others is not good. Always be observing the word of God because we are all accountable to our creator. We are free to live within the boundaries that God has set in His word.

What shall I do?
I shall always be learning and teaching others; I shall always be working with my hands for the good of other people; and I shall always be enjoying my wife and the things that God has given to us. I have an allotted time to live and do not know the time. I shall live to the fullness today but always in consideration of my Creator. I am free to do whatever I have found it in my hands to do within the boundaries that God has set. True freedom is knowing those boundaries and living to the fullest inside those boundaries. I know that some day I will die. My body will return to the earth and my spirit will return to God. I will be judged for everything that I did, said and thought while in the body. I know that I have already been justified, by His grace, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus; therefore, I shall honor God, exalt Jesus Christ and seek the good of my neighbor.

Nursing and the Law of Christ

The Lord’s teaching recorded in John 13-21 is amazing. It is what the apostle Paul calls "the Law of Christ." (Cf. 1 Cor. 9:2...