Midweek Reflections

The Ultimate Conflict Resolved

Read: 1 Timothy 2:1-7

Conflicts seem to be a dime a dozen these days.  Resolving those conflicts can often be a challenge unless a mediator is brought in to help resolve the conflict.  In the 2nd chapter of 1st Timothy Paul refers to Jesus as the mediator between God and mankind.  What does he mean by giving Jesus that name or title?  The Jesus Bible explains it this way….

“If you asked someone to list the titles of Jesus in the Bible, it would likely be a while before they said mediator.  Yet this often-overlooked title is of critical importance for believers.  A mediator enters into a dispute between two parties and brings about resolution.  According to the Bible, sin has placed every human being in conflict with the perfectly righteous God of the universe (Romans 3:10).  There is nothing a person can do to bridge this chasm that sin creates between himself or herself and God.

Despite this problem originating because of human sin, God took it upon himself to resolve the conflict.  Instead of letting people experience the just result of their rebellion against him, God sent Jesus, his own Son, to act as a mediator of his new covenant of grace (Hebrews 9:15).  For those who place their faith in him, the Bible says Jesus bore their sin so that they could become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21).  Now Jesus sits at the right hand of the Father, interceding on their behalf (Romans 8:34).

If we are in Christ, he paid the penalty for our sin, and his perfect obedience is credited to us.  Because of Jesus’ work, we are no longer in conflict with God, and we have been adopted as children and co-heirs with Christ (Romans 8:17).  With Jesus as our mediator, we partake in God’s amazing grace!”  And to that we can all say, AMEN!

Make it Personal:  Take time to read 1 Timothy 2:1-7 and also look up the other scriptures listed above.  These scriptures tell the truth about what God has done to save us, redeem us, and give us hope in this life.  It is the good news for all people who will believe and receive Jesus as their Savior, Mediator, and Lord.

Have a wonderful week,  Glen Rhodes

Red Letters

Read: Matthew 24:30-35

In connection with our current message series “Jesus: Fully Known” this weeks reflection comes from Pastor David Jeremiah….

“J. Oswald Sanders pointed out that the teachings of Jesus were simple, vital, ethical, practical, original, psychologically correct, and, of course, theologically true – in every way.  The teachings of Jesus were true because He is the truth, so we can know Him.  He fulfills the truth, so we can trust Him.  He tells the truth, so we can obey Him.  He models the truth, so we can emulate Him.  He predicts the truth, so we can expect Him.  And He comforts us with the truth, so we can love Him.

Reading through the Gospels in one sitting would take some time, but if you have a Bible with the words of Jesus printed in red, try sitting down to read those words.  Go from passage to passage, simply reading the red-letter words of Jesus.  It’s a wonderful exercise.  As an alternative, spend extra time this week reading the Sermon on the Mount from Matthew 5-7.  It’s the greatest speech, sermon, or discourse ever given.”

Make it Personal:  When the red letters of Jesus become the read letter of Jesus, our soul is enriched. The world will one day end but His words will never pass away.

“Ignorance of the scriptures is ignorance of Christ.”  – Jerome

Have a blessed week,  Glen Rhodes

Be Still & Know

Read: Psalm 46

It’s no whispering secret.  We live in a noisy world.  Even in our own homes we can have televisions, radios, cell phones, and many other noise-makers competing for the same air space.  If you have young children at home there are probably times when you just want to settle them down and bring calmness to the room.  

I read an article once in which a mother was in this kind of a situation.  She said that instead of trying to talk to her children in a loud yelling voice she opted to stand there and whisper her wishes to them.  She said, “It was amazing, it did not take long before the toys hit the ground and their faces turned to try to figure out what I was saying.”  Suddenly, her children wanted to hear her voice and what she was saying.  In order to do that they need to be quiet.

How true that concept can be for us and our relationship with God.  In Psalm 46:10 the Bible says, “Be still and know that I am God.”  In order to hear what God is speaking into our lives we must first be still and quiet.  We must give God our attention.  God loves us and cares deeply about what we are going through in life.  God whispers our name and instructs us on how to get through those difficult times.  Are we listening?

Make it Personal:  Turn down the volume in your life this week.  Take time to calm down, breathe deeply, and listen to God.  The Lord has solutions and help for the problems we face in life, we just need to slow down and listen.  By turning down the volume you will be amazed at what you hear the Lord saying to you.

Have a wonderful week,  Glen Rhodes

A Heavy Dose

Read: Ephesians 4:17-32

How is your dose of encouragement today or this week?  Have you been encouraged by a friend or family member recently?  Also, have you been an encouragement to someone else?  Often times we come in contact with people who have a negative outlook or just don’t have many good things to say.  That is when we have the opportunity to be a good example and give a good heavy dose of encouragement instead. 

Often times in person or online we can add a positive twist to the conversation instead of joining in on the negativity.  Many times the response that we make can be a deciding factor in steering the conversation north (building others up) or south (tearing others down) from where it is headed.  In Ephesians 4:29 it says, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”

Through much of the New Testament Paul encourages people to love, care, build up, and encourage each other on the journey of life.  This is God’s way and we have the opportunity to make it happen.  It all depends on how we will respond when faced with the choice to encourage or discourage.   The next time your are at work, school, or with friends and the conversations heads south, be the one to turn it around.  Take it from negative to positive.  Take it from tearing down to building up.  Not only will the conversation be much more uplifting but the remainder of your day will be as well.  Come on Christians, let’s give out heavy doses of encouragement!

Make it Personal:  Let’s try to catch ourselves when we are adding to the negativity instead of the positivity.  Many times we follow along without realizing where we are heading or where the conversation is taking us.  Step back, then step up and be the one to “help build others up according to their needs.”

Be blessed this week,  Glen Rhodes

The Ultimate Buffet

Read: Matthew 4:1-11

Buffets are harder to find these days due to the ongoing worldwide pandemic.  In most recent days we have just been fortunate to be able to enter a restaurant to enjoy a meal out.  This past Sunday I mentioned the importance of reading and feasting on God’s Word as a daily practice in our lives. Scripture shows us what God desires in us and how Jesus showed us to live.  It also proclaims the promises of God to those who believe.  It is the ultimate buffet for Christians.

In Matthew 4 when Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness the Word of God is what Jesus used to refute the lies and temptations of the evil one. Over and over he said, “It is written….” as a way to disprove the temptations that were being presented to him.  The same can hold true for us as well.  If we feast on the Word of God daily (over and over) it can help to lead us away from the tempter and remind us of what God promises and how Jesus showed us to live.

Jon Bloom once said, “When our body needs energy, we eat food.  But when our soul needs hope, what do we feed it?  Promises… Our souls are designed to be nourished by God’s precious and very great promises (2 Peter 1:4).”  When we sit down or take the time to read the Bible Psalm 19 says that we are feasting on something that is more desired than gold and sweeter than honey.  It’s time for us to take the time in our busy lives and learn from the one who can help us find direction, find purpose, find peace, and help us to handle the things the world throws at us.  God’s ultimate buffet is always open.

Make it Personal:  How has your time in God’s Word been recently?  Have you taken the time to be in God’s Word recently?  We must not let our Bibles collect dust and become nice pieces of decor around the house. It must be a vital, important, and daily part of our Christian lives.

Be blessed this week,  Glen Rhodes

Land of Milk & Honey

Read: Exodus 3:1-10

A recent news story out of Pennsylvania caught my attention recently.  On July 10 during a rainstorm, a couple who lived in a century old home heard water running down between their walls. When they investigated this peculiar noise closer they realized that what sounded like water was really fresh honey.  A colony of 30,000 bees had formed a hive in their attic and walls and the honey was flowing.  As one report said, “the only sting they have received so far is the estimated repair cost of $3,000 to move the bees out.

In Exodus 3 we read about the call of Moses from the burning bush at Mount Horeb.  God told him to lead the people out of Egypt and into the Promised Land that was flowing with milk and honey. Many other times in scripture we see reference to this concept of milk and honey which communicates a better place, a more prosperous place, and a place of blessing.  I’m not sure this year of 2020 would be on most people’s list of places flowing with milk and honey.

It has been a hard year. It has been a challenging year.  It has been a year like none other. But somewhere in the future is our promise of milk and honey.  Somewhere in the future is a place where we can see each other’s faces again in public places, where family members can hug without asking questions, and where good friends can shake hands again without wondering if it is socially acceptable.  Somewhere in the future we can attend ball games and concerts again and have fellowship meals with our church family.

We are all anxiously awaiting this new 21st century milk and honey reality. In the meantime we will continue to look to Jesus and learn how we can grow through these trials and tribulations that we now face. On the way to the Promised Land the Isrealites had many challenges along the way. Many of them were brought on themselves due to their disobedience and lack of trust in God. Let’s learn from their mistakes and stay obedient and trusting as we journey this difficult road together.

Make it Personal:  What has been the hardest thing for you on this Covid-19 journey? Have you been obedient, trusting, patient, and hopeful?  The Lord will see us through this just like the Isrealites through the wilderness. On the other side we will find fresh milk and sweet honey!

Have a wonderful week,  Glen Rhodes

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