Have you ever pondered the question of whether or not God was for you? What does that exactly mean? Are we asking if God is in support of what we want or how we would like our lives to turn out? How about during strife with someone else? Do we wonder if God would take our side in the ordeal? Maybe He’s for our career pursuits? In times of war, is He for our nation’s cause or the other?
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31 NIV
I think its very important to understand the context of this passage in Romans. I hear or read people quote it often and quite a lot it seems to be thrown around pretty loosely to apply to almost anything. Yes, God is for us. But what does that mean? If you read the entirety of chapter 8 (in light of all of the Book of Romans) we are being told that God is for our spiritual transformation and our eternal destination. Those are the two things God wants more than anything for every person in His creation. No matter how much we run away, God wants us back. No matter how much we bring shame to His name or ridicule His holiness with our lives, He wants us back. God is for us in the best possible way. God is always faithful and God is always true. Instead of wondering if God is for us, we should focus on whether or not we are for Him.
Peace in Christ brothers and sisters
This Wednesday marked the beginning of an 8-day celebration of God’s salvation. The celebration’s first day is called Passover. It is the day that honors two incredible events in which our God rescued His creation. The first came thousands of years ago when God brought Israel out of Egypt after bringing the world’s mightiest empire to its knees. It came after a series of plagues designed to deface the gods of Egypt and show God’s glory. The second event came about 2000 years ago in the person of Jesus. This was the greater Passover. The target was not Egypt, it was sin and death. It wasn’t meant to free us from just a temporal slavery, but a spiritual and eternal one. It didn’t defeat the gods of an empire but the Prince of evil himself…satan. Both required blood…the blood of a lamb…but the one was far more precious. A couple days later, many around the world come together for what is referred to as Good Friday. It honors the sacrifice and death of Jesus of Nazareth…both man and divine…God in the flesh. Passover is the event on which Good Friday’s sacrifice took place. Because Jesus is the Passover Lamb of God.
The following are parallels between the lamb in the Feast of Passover as described in Exodus chapter 12 and the ultimate Passover Lamb, Jesus Christ. It’s great evidence that the Passover in Egypt was meant to prepare the world for the coming Messiah. Enjoy the study!
1 Cor. 5:7
|Chosen ahead of time
||1 Peter 1:20-21
||1 Peter 1:17-19
2 Cor. 5:21
|Killed by the people
|Killed in the evening
|The Lamb’s blood was shed
|The blood saves us from God’s Judgement
||Exodus 12:7, 12-13
1 John 1:7
ALL of Revelation 5
I have noticed two very contrasting views of the current pandemic. Some speak out in an apathetic tone almost in a way to scoff at the coronavirus. I’ve heard claims from people about COVID19 not being a big deal or that its a media-driven hysteria that’s not really worth worrying about. These are those who refuse to take precautions and who may even make fun of or ridicule those who do. On the other end, there are those who are in a sheer panic. They’ve stocked up and barricaded themselves. They are the ones emptying the shelves of the grocery stores and feeding the worldwide anxiety. Both extremes shield themselves from reality. and for followers of Jesus, we shouldn’t find ourselves in either one of these camps.
But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. James 3:17 NIV
Ignorance is never a beneficial approach to…well…anything. People who downplay the significance of this pandemic are simply promoting a lack of respect and compassion for those whose lives have been shattered and the wreckage it has left behind in their families. More than likely, their own convenience is driving much of their attitude. No doubt, many have been forced to make huge sacrifices. This is difficult on so many levels. For Christians, our hearts should be turned towards prayer for the hurting and action to do what we can to help those in need. The last thing Christians should ever be doing is complaining and downplaying while so many have been devastated. The coronavirus IS a BIG deal. Let’s promote mercy and be considerate of others. That’s wisdom from above.
for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7 ESV
Fear cripples people. It’s so hard to watch somewhat riddled with worry. It consumes their thoughts. They believe that the worst is not only probable but imperative. For a Christian to be paralyzed by fear is contrary to the very Spirit within us. Whether it’s through heavenly wisdom or heavenly power, the believer is driven by compassion and love and the pursuit of peace. Fear prevents people from those things. And so does ignorance. In this time of hardship that’s ravishing the world, let’s not be part of the problem by being ignorant of fearful. Let’s be lovers of peace and truth. Let’s hold fast to the anchor of our faith…Jesus…and share Him with the world. In the darkest of times, the light of Jesus’ followers should shine brightest.
Peace in Christ loved ones