Job 19, “I know that my redeemer lives!”

Job 19:25-27

It is at times such as this that we are sure that no one else as ever experienced the pain and loneliness that we feel. That no one understands what we are going through. Although it is true that no one knows exactly how we feel, others have experienced the devastation of the loss of a loved one.

The experience of one such person is recorded in the Bible in the book of Job. Job had it all, he had ten children, fields of livestock, an abundance of land, a houseful of servants, and a substantial stack of cash or the equivalent at the time. And then, without warning, like an avalanche, adversity struck. He lost his livestock, crops, land, servants, and if you can believe it all ten of his children.

Soon thereafter he lost the last human vestige of hope, his health. He had experienced his own sea of pain and he could therefore write from experience of his own intense inner suffering.

But in the midst of his pain he made a profound statement of faith and hope recorded in Chapter 19, verses twenty-five through twenty-seven. I would like to share that with you now.

Job writes, “For I know that my Redeemer lives, And He shall stand at last on the earth; (26) And after my skin is destroyed, this I know, That in my flesh I shall see God, (27) Whom I shall see for myself, And my eyes shall behold, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!”

Notice Job’s certainty. Like Job, even in our pain there are some things that we can “know” that is be certain about. Twice in this passage Job states there are some things that he “knows” (vs. 25, 26) with certainty.

First, Job states that he knows that there is a Redeemer. In verse twenty-five “I know that my Redeemer lives….” Job states that he is “my” redeemer; he had a personal relationship with the Redeemer. This is a personal statement, born out of personal conviction, not hearsay, not speculation, but truth uttered from his heart with assurance and firm conviction.

What is a redeemer? “One who re-purchases” and “One who delivers from bondage by paying a ransom”. Now Job could have said, “I know that my Savior lives”. He would have been accurate. He could have said, “I know that my Champion lives”. He would have been accurate. He could have said, “I know that my Advocate lives”. He would have been accurate. But he didn’t use any of those terms or any other. He said, “Redeemer”. That means that Job knew he needed to be purchased back. He knew that he ultimately belonged to God, but that sin had interrupted that relationship. He had the confidence in God and His goodness and faithfulness to say, “I know that my Redeemer lives.…” The One who buys me back.

Do you know that? Is that your firm conviction today? Can you say that with confidence, “I KNOW that my Redeemer lives”? Jesus loves you more than you can imagine and He is with you every day in every situation, no matter what it may be!

Advertisements

Matthew speaks (part two)

When we arrived on the opposite shore from Galilee in the Gadarenes, a man which had been living in the tombs came upon us quite suddenly! He was wearing no clothes and was possessed by devils and had not lived in a house for a long time. There were pieces of chains on his arms that showed that he had been bound but had loosed himself by breaking them.

 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and with a loud voice he said, “What have I to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God most high. I beg of you, torment me not!” For Jesus had commanded that the spirit come out of him. It seemed that the spirits had caused him to cut himself and do other injuries to himself, yet Jesus asked the spirit, “What is your name?” The spirits within him said, “Legion, for we are many.”

The demons begged Jesus not so send them into outer darkness. At that place there were some herders which had a large number of pigs eating on the mountainside. The devils pleaded with Him to send them into the swine, so Jesus said: “Go!” When they did, the entire herd ran off down the mountain and into the sea where they drowned! Those who were herding them ran back to the town and told what had happened to their herd.

The people came and found Jesus and saw the man who had been possessed of demons in his right mind sitting with us and talking. They asked Jesus to leave  because they were afraid of Him. Isn’t that weird? The man that was healed of the spirits wanted to come with us, but Jesus sent him away saying: “Return to your house and tell of the things which God has done for you.” So, he did exactly that. He went round about telling everything that Jesus had done for him!

So, we got back into the boat and traveled back to Galilee and the people greeted Him gladly for they had been waiting for Him to return. Later, a man named Jairus who was a ruler of the synagogue found Jesus and fell at His feet. He begged Him to come and lay His hands on his daughter because she was ill and at the point of death, and she was his only daughter! He said that she was about twelve years of age too, so we set off toward his house but the people were crowding around Him as He went. A woman, who had an issue of blood for about twelve years, who had spent all that she had on physicians yet none had healed her, came up behind Jesus. She had thought to herself that “if I can just touch His garment, I will be healed”.

When she did this, Jesus noticed power issue out of Himself and asked, “Who touched me?” We were all astonished at this for the crowd was all around Him, yet the woman came forth and told Him of her plight and that it was she who had touched Him. He said, “Daughter, be of good faith and go your way. Your faith has made thee whole.” About this time, someone came to the ruler and said, “Don’t bother the Teacher anymore, your daughter is dead.” But Jesus heard it and said, “Fear not, but believe only.”

When we came to the house, he did not allow anyone to go in except Peter, James and John and the father and mother of the girl. There were many who were weeping and wailing and He told them to “Weep not, for the girl is only asleep.” They laughed at Him because they knew that she was dead, but He put them all out and took her by the hand and called out to her saying, “Maid, arise!”

Her spirit came again unto her and she got up right away! He told her parents to give her something to eat and they were astonished. Although He told them not to tell anyone what He had done there.

Prologue: Our Lord, Jesus, can still do miracles even today. Prayers are answered every day in ways that we may not know and in some we do. The point of this story is that Jesus can do all things. He did them when He was here with His disciples and He can still do them today. All that we have to do is believe and have faith in Him. As Jesus said, “If you have faith, even as small as a mustard seed, all things are possible”! Won’t you place your faith and your life in Jesus’ hands today?

Do we REALLY need motivation to Pray?

prayer-motivationIn the situation depicted here in this picture, prayer and running faster would be helpful! But what about our everyday lives? Do we really need motivation to pray? It seems that many people do need a crisis of some kind to motivate them to truly pray to their Father in Heaven. But, why is that? Shouldn’t we be praying to Him anyway?

He is the Author of life and the Creator of everything so why not pray to Him? Don’t you believe that He could take care of whatever situation you might be in? Granted, He may do so in His own time and not as immediately as we would like, but don’t give up on God! He has never given up on anyone and He doesn’t until it is too late for them to give their lives to Him.

It is our individual choices which take us places that we enjoy or not. Our choices, not someone else’s, are the ones that we will have to account for when we face God one day. Have you considered that today? Have you thought of what you have done or said that you haven’t asked Him for forgiveness for?

You can’t hide any part of your life from God, no matter how much you may want to. He knows all about each of us, regardless of which continent you live on or how far you may be from the nearest cell tower! God doesn’t need cell coverage to find you because He never lost you! He has always been near you, patiently waiting for you to ask for Him to come into your life and help you get things straitened out.

I know that there are many of you who read this that think “My life doesn’t need to be straitened out!”; if that is true, what is working so perfectly in your life that nothing needs to be fixed? Please let the world know how you got everything figured out so we can all enjoy this freedom!

There are many who think that they have it figured out, but they are really fooling themselves. Everyone has problems of one kind or another, some are worse than others but I don’t believe that there is a person on this planet that doesn’t have some problems or at the least one problem. Life just isn’t that easy or pleasant.

Even if you have enough money that you can buy anything that you could want, without asking “How much?”; there are still taxes to pay, rent, maintenance fees for cars, houses, apartments, etc. Life just doesn’t let you have it that easy without some problems. Unless, you are one of those who is off the grid, no cell, no internet, no TV, paid cash for a small house and all that you have to worry about is utilities and food. So even with that, you still have “bills” of a sort; of course you could grow your own veggies, and unless your home is a solar powered one you still have to pay for electricity.

Living on earth is just not that forgiving as far as problems are concerned, although living off the grid entirely doesn’t sound too bad come to think of it!

Giving your heart to Jesus doesn’t fix any of these problems either. As a matter of fact, some problems may get worse especially if you tell others about your Savior and can’t keep it to yourself! We were commanded to do this, so why should you! That is why this blog exists, so that people who are searching for some of life’s answers can find them. I don’t have those answers, but God’s Word does and all you have to do is read it.

Live your life according to Scripture and in awe of our God and Creator, because if He had not made our home we wouldn’t have such a perfect place to live. I know that many of you don’t have a perfect place, but in comparison to the other planets in our solar system, earth is as perfect for us as it gets. God loves you, each and every one of you because He created you and placed you exactly where He wanted you to be!

Give your life to Jesus, pursue Him as you would a lover, learn about Him from the Word of God. When you have done these things, He will give you the peace that you cannot understand and that you have longed for all of your life. You will also be assured of a place in heaven forever and not punishment in hell.

Why is there so much violence?

Is it because we can’t stand to be around each other? Do we really hate other people that much, regardless of their race or religion? Is it because of their race or religion? I know that these questions are hard to answer but it seems that no one is asking the questions to seek the answer.

The violence that we see and hear about on the news everyday is part of the world-view. The world itself and the people in it are just being human and following their own wisdom and feelings in the way that they conduct themselves. Just as the Israelites did during the time after they went into Canaan, after Joshua died. They followed the gods of the people around them and did exactly as they pleased. They did not follow the commands that Moses or God had given them before entering into the land of promise.

What can be done about the way people are living in our world? From a human standpoint, not much actually. We can’t fix it on our own and yet people try to do just that all the time. We usually exhaust all of our personal ways that we can think of and when we come to the “end of our rope”, that is when we consult or look for God’s help. The One which can handle everything that we ask of Him and yet we wait until all of our efforts are exhausted before turning to Him, it doesn’t make sense. But, that is human nature and the way that we are.

We cannot change on our own but some people seem to be too proud to ask for God or Jesus to intervene in their lives. Some people even try sending up a small prayer with little faith behind it and then get angry when that doesn’t work. If your heart doesn’t belong to God, the only prayer that He hears at first is a repentant prayer that calls to Him and asks for Him to save, once that happens He hears them all.

We cannot look at this as God being unconcerned about us because He loves each of us, whether we have come and invited Him into our lives or not. The reason behind His reluctance to hear your prayer prior to your salvation is that you are a sinner and until your heart and your soul is cleansed by accepting Christ, He can’t look at you because of His Holiness. It says in the Bible that “our righteousness is as filthy rags” to Him, so our self-righteous attitude doesn’t make us good enough in any way to come before Him to ask anything except for forgiveness and to request that our life be changed by Jesus.

When you have done that, the whole of your life will change forever! At that point you will have an immortal life because death will have no real meaning, other than the physical body dying. You will continue on with Jesus and all of the others who have gone before you. Even the thief who died on the cross next to Jesus will be there.

To live and work along with others who love God and are eternally available to teach and show you how to do the things which are needed will be wonderful! Yet, while we are here in this life we will need the strength that only God and Jesus can impart to us. The only way to live through the violence of this world is by showing the world that God loves them so that they will want to know that love in return.

When someone comes to know Christ as their Lord and Savior, there is joy in Heaven! We should be joyful over it as well because the witness that we have given has saved someone from hell and the second death of separation from God. I cannot imagine being separated from anything good or cool (temperature) or wet like water for eternity, but that is what hell is going to be and eternity never ends!

Think about these things and your response should be to get on your knees and ask Jesus into your life right now! We are not guaranteed the next minute of life so don’t put it off, do it now before it is too late.

Are we really that easy to fool?

In recent years there have been new “religions” which have come into the world. Are we really that gullible as to believe something which man has devised from his own thoughts and feelings?

I suppose we must be since Scientology and other religions have been created just in the past one hundred years from man’s own mind. Imagination is good when it is used to write a book of fiction but it is another thing entirely when you are using it to create something that you follow as a “religion“.

In all sincerity you can make a religion out of most anything, from football to fishing or even your job or your status. But, if you do such a thing and you are wrong, what then? If the Bible and Christianity are true, which many people believe, then what will you do when you stand before God after you die? “Sorry” or “Oops” come to mind but they won’t be enough!

What about Islam and Allah? This religion was given to their prophet a little over a thousand years ago and it is reported to be a “peaceful” religion. Yet, according to their laws, you will be killed if you do not worship Allah and submit to Islamic traditions. It doesn’t sound peaceful to me.

The Awesome Power of Our Creator!

In six days He spoke the universe into being, then rested on the seventh. I wonder if anyone has ever thought that He could have done it in one day if He had chosen to? Nothing is impossible with God but what do you think of Him? He knows all of us, whether we acknowledge Him or not.

When He sent the part of Him that was the Christ to earth as a human born of a virgin, He was still God. When they beat Him, and flogged Him with the cat-o-nine tails so that He was almost un-recognizable, He was still God. When they hung Him on the cross or execution stake with nails through His hands and feet, He was still God. He could’ve called down legions of angels or even wiped mankind from the earth with a thought but He did neither of those, because He was and is God!

Our Creator, the Ancient of Days, was before time and the one who created time itself along with everything else. Our God, the One that many people don’t think is real, is more real than we are! His ways are not our ways and His thoughts are not like ours. He is above us and perfect in every way. One analogy would be that He is above us as we are above bacteria and maybe even more than that!

Even being the great I AM, the God and Creator doesn’t keep Him from loving His creation, even those of us who were created in His image and then rejected Him. Your life will never be perfect on earth, but you will be able to grow toward that perfection if you will give your heart to Him and walk with Him daily. That is all He has ever wanted from us, our fellowship and our love for all that He gives us every day.

If you want to have hope and a chance at a fulfilling life for eternity, ask Him to come into your heart. He will place a small piece of Himself there and fill the void which you have felt but didn’t know how to fill. God loves you more than you can know, return that love and you will feel it in ways you never imagined.

Does our life really matter in the grand scheme of things?

The answer to that question is: “It depends on who you are serving, yourself or God.”

Do you ever feel that life and the living of it is just too hard or stressful? I do. There are days when I wish that a truck would just lose control and end my life right there regardless of whether I am going to work or coming home. But, most days I have my son in the car with me so I don’t pray for anything like that to happen. You do have to be careful about what you ask for, you know. Depression is an awful and deceitful emotion. It creeps up on you gradually, just a little at a time and then one day it hits you like a truck with no brakes!

Depression really does hurt. Especially when our daily grind is unrewarding or when you feel that life and this world are not treating you fairly. If you are not a Christian, days like this can cause all sorts of things to happen and most of them are not good. Being a Christian doesn’t exempt you from days like this.

In fact, it seems to multiply them occasionally. If you haven’t matured enough or if you have other things in your life that you haven’t confessed lately, that is when God gets out His polishing tools and puts you through some trials in order to make you into the Christian that He needs you to be.

He knows the outcome but that doesn’t stop Him from doing what needs to be done to bring out your best, even if it hurts. The pain that comes during these times is not unbearable because He said that He would not allow us to go through a trial that He can’t provide a way out of.

If you are serving yourself, the grand scheme really doesn’t matter unless it is a personal accomplishment of some kind. Because your personal “grand scheme” likely will not affect the whole world, just your piece of it, then what will become of your accomplishments and your family when your life is over?

If you are serving God, then the grand scheme should be His and you should be asking for His guidance to do whatever it is that is necessary to fulfill your part of it. He will provide you with exactly what you need, when you need it according to His plans for you. He doesn’t always give you what you ask for when you ask for it because He knows that we sometimes ask for things that we aren’t ready for or that we really don’t need.

Come to the throne of grace and ask Him into your life. Your life and your daily walk with Him will never be the same. It will be BETTER!!