#DailyDevotions Jesus Provides The Fallen World With Shepherds

#DailyDevotions Jesus Provides The Fallen World With Shepherds

935Then Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom, and healing every disease and sickness. 36As He saw the crowds, He felt sorry for them, because they were troubled and helpless like sheep without a shepherd. 37Then He said to His disciples, “There’s much grain to be harvested, but there are only a few workers. 38 Ask the Owner of the harvest to send out workers to bring in His grain.” … 105Jesus sent these twelve out with the following instructions: “Don’t go among the Gentiles or into any town of the Samaritans. 6But go to the lost sheep of Israel. 7As you go, preach, “The kingdom of heaven is here.’ 8Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, drive out demons. Give these things as you received them — without pay.

In Jesus’ ministry upon the earth he went out among the town and villages teaching and preaching the good news of the kingdom. On the one hand he taught the Law of God in its truth and purity, correcting the bad, the incorrect and false teaching that had been handed down which sometimes made the law too easy and sometimes too hard. We see that in his sermon on the mount. That was only good news in so far as it freed the people from a lot of unnecessary duties God never gave them. On the other hand it is mostly in his parables that the free gift of the forgiveness of sins and the Father’s love in seeking out the lost is taught. Jesus then backed up his teaching, showing he had authority to teach what he taught by healing every disease and sickness. He cast out demons. He raised the dead. On occasion he even forgave people directly their sins. He showed to the people the mercy of God. Looking at the crowds he felt sorry for them. They “were troubled and helpless like sheep without a shepherd.” The religious leaders of their day did not help. They weren’t taught the truth and so they themselves only continued teaching the false teaching which oppressed the people of God. The good news of the mercy and kindness of God was not being taught to sinners. Yet, if that good news would be preached they would hear and repent. He needed help. He tells to crowds to pray for harvesters.

Jesus then answers his own prayer by gathering twelve of the crowd to be his apostles. They had been with him and he had called them to follow him from the beginning. They would be the new patriarchs of Israel. Through these twelve men Jesus would correct the erring ways of the traditions of the fathers and preach and teach the truth of God’s word to his fallen people. In this pre-crucifixion mission they were only to go to the lost sheep of Israel, for the word and promises of God belong first to the people God the LORD made a covenant with him on behalf of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They were to preach the kingdom of heaven is here. That is to say, the messiah has come, their redeemer and savior had come. The LORD had fulfilled his promise of salvation. They would teach the Law as the LORD Jesus had intended for it to be kept. They would preach the parables in which the forgiveness of sins and the acceptance of God for all who repented of their sins. They baptized the people with a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. They went out with Jesus’ authority to back up their preaching by healing the sick, casting out demons and raising the dead. They were freely taught these things by Jesus. They would freely do these things for the crowds without pay. They would however be supported by one household wherever they went to take care of their needs.

Well the harvest is still ripe. All people, not just the Jews need to hear the good news of Jesus Christ. We keep praying for harvesters and God keeps providing them. God provides for us pastors, evangelist and missionaries to preach and teach the kingdom of heaven is here. Repent and believe the good news. God is merciful and kind to us on account of his messiah, Jesus Christ of Nazareth.

Heavenly Father, continue to provide pastors, evangelists and missionaries to the world to gather your people to Jesus Christ, to teach us your will, your kindness and mercy found in Jesus, your son, so we may not be lost but found by him. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotions A Tale Of Two Adams Part 2

#DailyDevotions A Tale Of Two Adams Part 2

Romans 515But the gift is more than the sin. If one man’s sin brought death to all people, we are all the more certain God’s grace and the gracious gift of the one Man, Jesus Christ, have been richly poured out on all people.

The first Adam brought sin and death into the world. Through him all are made sinners and all die. His children are brought into the world subject to death. Yet the gift of God in Christ Jesus is greater. The gift is a free gift, not earned or merited by those who daily rebel against the LORD their God and Creator, which sinning just doubles down on our death sentence. The gift is great because the one who gives it is greater. The gift is not free. No it was purchased and won for us at a great price. The work, the obedience, the merits, the shame, the humiliation, the death of God made flesh, Jesus Christ of Nazareth purchased and won it for us. He offers it to us for free.

Yes the first Adam won for us eternal death and damnation. The second Adam, Jesus Christ, won for us eternal life with God. More than that, while the sin of Adam brought us to the depths of hell, the obedience of Jesus lifts us up to the right hand of the Father. While the sin of Adam gave us mortal bodies and souls/spirits that were dead, Jesus assumes our flesh and our flesh is assumed into the Godhead.

We are all the more certain of God’s grace and the gracious gift of the one man Jesus Christ. We can be all the certain because God’s grace and the gift of Jesus has been poured out on all people. Now some may object, in the Greek its says, “pollous,” which means many. Certainly, but that same word is used when speaking of sin bringing death to all people. You wouldn’t say sin brought death to many people. No everyone born from the seed of man receives in themselves the sin of Adam. You might note, Jesus was conceived of the seed of the woman, Mary and not from the seed of Joseph her husband.

So if all have been poured upon by the grace of God in Christ, well you cannot get more certain than all. You might remember on Pentecost Peter quoting Joel, 217“In the last days,” God says, “I will pour out My Spirit on all people.” Pentecost is the fulfillment of verse fifteen. You may object, “Why doesn’t everyone believe then?” Jesus says in John 159“But if I go, I’ll send Him to you. He will come and convict the world of sin, righteousness, and judgment: of sin because they don’t believe in Me; 10of righteousness because I’m going to the Father and you won’t see Me anymore; 11of judgment because the ruler of this world is judged.” The Spirit, the gracious gift of the Man, Jesus Christ has been poured out on all so that all may believe.

Jesus doesn’t want us having any doubt. He died for us all. He poured out his Spirit upon all. He has opened heaven for all. He has won salvation for us all. He has gotten eternal life for us all by the shedding of his blood. Yet the Spirit convicts some because they do not believe. They reject the gift, the gracious gift, the free gift of Jesus Christ the LORD. Jesus has not put any barriers in their way. He keeps the wicked one, for now, from keeping them from believing. But from the hardness of their hearts they reject Jesus and his gift of life eternal. But you, you have received the gift in baptism. You have believed on the LORD Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit has made you his dwelling and while death may capture your body temporarily, it may not touch your soul. As Christ Jesus has risen never to die again so you who believe in him will like him rise.

Merciful God and Father, your richly give us the free gift of salvation and pour out your Holy Spirit upon us freely. May we ever rejoice in your perfect graciousness and live and reign with you and Jesus Christ forever, in whose name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion A Tale Of Two Adams pt. 1

#DailyDevotion A Tale Of Two Adams pt. 1

Romans 512One man brought sin into the world, and his sin brought death. And so because all have sinned, death spread to all people. 13There was sin in the world before the Law was given, but where there is no Law, sin isn’t counted. 14Still death ruled from Adam to Moses even over those who, when they sinned, didn’t break a law as Adam did. He was a picture of Him Who was to come.

One man, Adam, brought sin and death into the world. He had one commandment, “Don’t eat that fruit!” Adam rebelled against the LORD and ate it. He received in himself the consequence of that sin, what the LORD had warned, death. That sin and death he passed to his offspring. Because of that all have sinned and death spread to all people. Adam was created with a living ‘nephesh’ but now he is a dead nephesh. All his descendents are conceived and born as dead ‘nephesh.’ Because they are dead nephesh they cannot but sin. They do not have the life of God in them. They do not have the Holy Spirit in them. They are completely ruled by sin. Since this is so, all sin and all die.

The Law in verse thirteen is the Torah, the instructions given by the LORD to Moses. There was sin in the world before that was given. Yet the LORD did not leave man without any instruction. Paul writes earlier in chapter 215“They show that what the law wants them to do is written in their hearts. Their conscience tells the same truth, and their thoughts between themselves accuse them or defend them,…” Though corrupted by sin and death, man has a conscience which convicts him of sin or defends him. It is against this conscience than man without the Torah sins against and which further corrupts him and puts him to death. The man who has not yet been born of the Spirit is already the walking dead. He has no life in him. Sin, death and the devil rule over him.

What does Paul mean when he says, “sin isn’t counted?” Well we know that to him is much is given, much is required and to him little is given, little is required. Man is not accountable for the Law that is not given or revealed to him. The one whom little is given, little is required. To all men though, through Creation, God has revealed himself as the Creator. In chapter one, Paul shows all men are guilty of not worshipping God as their Creator. In chapter two we see men sin against their consciences and so they are accountable to God on account of that. But they are not held accountable to the Law of Moses which is God’s will revealed to the Israelites.

Men did not break the law as Adam did. He had a direct command from God. He rebelled. The rest of mankind did not have such a spoken law (with the exception of don’t murder given to Noah and his family). Their sinning was not like Adam’s sin, yet death reigned over them. They were born dead in trespasses and sins. (Eph) Now Adam was a picture, an image of the One to come. That there was one to come shows us the LORD had always intended on becoming one of us and to draw us up into himself as he assumed our human nature.

Jesus is the New Adam. Truly God and truly Man. He is the Son of Man. Unlike his forebear Adam who rebelled against the LORD’s command, Jesus obeys the Father in everything and in every way, not only according to the letter of God’s instructions but according to the Spirit of them. He is not ruled by sin, death and the power of the devil. Being sinless, Jesus offers himself to death and the power of the devil by taking our sin upon himself and receiving in himself the due penalty for our sin, death. Now he offers to us his life for free.

Heavenly Father, you sent your son Jesus Christ into the world to do what the first Adam didn’t do and through that earn for all humanity your life with which they were not conceived with. Grant us faith in Christ Jesus so we may receive this life as your gift and live with you forever. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

#DailyDevotion If You Haven’t Been A Helpless, Ungodly, Sinner You Cannot Be A Friend Of God

#DailyDevotion If You Haven’t Been A Helpless, Ungodly, Sinner You Cannot Be A Friend Of God

Romans 56At the right time, while we were still helpless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7a man will hardly die for a righteous person; oh, for a kind person someone may dare to die. 8But God shows how He loves us by this, that while we were still sinners Christ died for us. Now that His blood has declared us righteous, we are all the more certain He will save us from God’s anger. 10If while we were His enemies we were made God’s friends by the death of His Son, now that we are His friends we are all the more certain He will save us by His life. 11More than that, we rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has now given us this friendship.

Do you want to be saved? Well you had better been helpless before it happened. Helpless, unable to help yourself get into the pearly gates with any strength, reason or merit of your own to claim before God. Jesus did not come to save people who could help themselves. As he had said, “They have no need for a physician.” Yes only the truly helpless did Jesus come to save from sin, death and the power of the devil.

Do you want to want to inherit the Kingdom of God? Well you better have been ungodly when you inherited it. You at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. If you’re a pretty good fellow who thinks your good works outweigh your bad, Jesus didn’t die for you. If you think you are good enough, Jesus didn’t die for you so you can get into heaven. No, Jesus died for the ungodly.

Do you want to escape the wrath of God? Well I hope you have been a sinner, for “while we were sinners, Christ died for us.” If you haven’t been a sinner for what purpose do you need Christ to shed his blood? If you are not a sinner you need not worry about the wrath of God for his wrath is only poured out on those who have sinned. God however shows how much he loves us by shedding the blood of his son Jesus as the atoning sacrifice for our sins. Jesus’ blood declares us righteous but we are yet sinners. Jesus’ blood was shed to cover our unrighteousness, our sins, our wickedness to save us from God’s anger. We need not fear it any longer if we trust in the blood of Jesus.

Do you want to have eternal life and be a friend of God? Well I hope you have been an enemy of God. It is only for God’s enemies did the Father put to the death his son Jesus Christ and made them his friends. Yes, God the Father extended the hand of friendship to those who hate him and fight against him by killing his son in their place. If we have been made friends of God (a title given to our father Abraham) we have been given the life of Jesus, eternal life. We can be certain of that by the cross and empty grave. The empty grave declares Jesus is risen from the dead and his life enlivens our dead bodies, our dead souls, our dead spirits. Such is God’s friendship with us through the death of his son that he brings us into his life and light.

Yes, because of all these things “we rejoice all the more in God through our Lord Jesus Christ who has now given us this friendship.” Abraham was a friend of God. He believed the LORD’s promises and God made a covenant with him. If you believe Jesus has done all these things for you, then you are a child of Abraham and now are friends of God as well. Abraham’s inheritance is now your inheritance. Abraham’s joy and glory are now yours as well because of Jesus, God’s only begotten son. Through Jesus we give God glory, honor, praise and thanksgiving for all his wondrous gifts to us who do not deserve them.

Gracious God and Father, you have brought to us poor miserable sinners your greatest gifts through your son Jesus Christ. Grant us faith in his work that we may receive the benefits of them and be made your friends unto eternal life. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion The LORD Has His Own Special People

#DailyDevotion The LORD Has His Own Special People

Exodus 192Starting from Rephidim, they came into the Sinai desert, and there Israel camped in front of the mountain. 3Moses went up to God, and the LORD called to him from the mountain: “Say to Jacob, and tell the Israelites: 4You have seen what I did to the Egyptians and how I carried you on eagle’s wings and brought you to Me. 5And now, if you will listen closely to Me and keep My covenant, among all the nations, you will be a treasure to Me although the whole world is Mine. 6You will be a kingdom of priests and a holy people to Me. Tell Israel that.” 7Moses went and called the elders of the people and laid before them all these matters the LORD ordered him to do. 8All the people answered together, “We will do everything the LORD has said.” And Moses went to report to the LORD what the people said.

The Israelites have come to the place where Moses first got his marching orders. Now Moses goes to God and the LORD called him from the mountain. Now I find that kind of interesting—Moses goes to God but the LORD calls him from the mountain. Often in the Old Testament when ‘God’ is used God is sort of impersonal, raw power. When LORD is used God is personal, intimate with his people. It seems Moses goes to God it is in an impersonal way. He is just doing what he has to do. But God doesn’t want Moses that way. He desires to be intimate with Moses. He will talk face to face with Moses as with a friend. God is an impersonal appellation. LORD is God’s personal name he revealed and gave to Moses and the Israelites. The LORD was intending on having the whole company of Israel to be intimate with him. Israel was his bride. So the LORD talks with Moses and gives him instructions concerning the Israelites. He is to address them with both their birth name, Jacob and their Christian name, Israel. One could say the name you were given for the world and the name you have amongst your family.

And what is Moses to tells them? He reminds them of all he has already done for them in rescuing them from the Egyptians and brought them to the LORD. The LORD makes a promise to them, “if you will listen closely to Me and keep My covenant, among all the nations, you will be a treasure to Me although the whole world is Mine. 6You will be a kingdom of priests and a holy people to Me.” The LORD is going to be giving the Israelites instructions on how to be his people and to remain in a relationship with him. They are to listen closely and keep his covenant. The LORD intends for the Israelites to be different from other nations. Some things will certainly make them a peculiar people, i.e. hair styles, clothes, and foods they eat. Other things would make them out to be wise, good, honest and just people in how they act—if they trusted the LORD and did what he says. The whole world is always the LORD’s but this people would be his special possession. What can I compare it to? I guess if you have a bank account and you pay all the bills from that, that would be the whole world. But you have a extra stash of cash that you do whatever you want with it. It’s not a part of the budgeted money, it’s all yours to play with. Think of what is your very own precious possession that you guard, love and enjoy. That is what Israel was to be to the LORD. Now they did not listen or keep the LORD’s covenant. So the LORD becomes one of them, Jesus, and makes a New Covenant.

He still has his own people. He no longer calls them Israel but Church(though Israel is included in Church). What the LORD intended for Israel he does through his church. For that which he promised to Israel he has delivered to his Church. Now the Church is the Holy People and a kingdom of priest of God.

Heavenly Father, you have fulfill what you promised to Israel in your Son Jesus and in Christ you have made yourself the Church to be your own. Grant us faith that we may listen and believe all you have promise us so we may be your people. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion Jesus Lifts Us Into The Life Of God

#DailyDevotion Jesus Lifts Us Into The Life Of God

Matt. 2816 The eleven disciples went to the mountain in Galilee where Jesus had told them to go. 17When they saw Him, they worshipped Him, but some doubted. 18And coming nearer, Jesus spoke to them, saying: “To Me has been given all authority in heaven and earth. 19 Therefore, wherever you go, disciple all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe everything as I have commanded you; and remember, I am with you always until the end of the age.”

Really? Some of them still doubted at this point? Well, I don’t think they actually still doubting by the time they went to the mountain with Jesus here. I think Matthew is just pulling in here the several accounts not included in his Gospel what the other Gospel writers had in theirs, namely the apostles and Thomas early on during the forty day period before Jesus was taken up.

Now Jesus had often referred to himself as the Son of Man in the Gospels. The Son of Man is talked about here in Daniel 713“In the visions during the night I saw One coming with the clouds of the heavens like the Son of Man, and He came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. 14And He was given glory, power to rule, and a kingdom, so that all peoples, nations, and those of every language should serve Him. His authority is everlasting and will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will not be destroyed.” It’s no wonder the people were confused by Jesus calling himself this up to his resurrection. He wasn’t, in his ministry, kicking put and setting up rule as they expected him to do (other than demon, disease and death). But now he is going to be seated at the right hand of God begin to exercise his power and authority which is the same authority and power of the Father.

That ‘all’ Jesus refers to equates Jesus with God the Father. Jesus had put aside is power, dominion and authority when he took on human flesh. Now he has taken it back in his resurrection in his flesh and thereby glorified his flesh and gives us a clue as to our destiny as well when we are raised to eternal life. If Jesus has been given all authority in heaven and in earth, Jesus is God. Only God can have such authority and power. Jesus and the Father are one. They have always been one but now their oneness is made manifest to us.

Because all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus and he departs from us Jesus charges his apostles and by extension the church to make disciples as they go along. The command is to make disciples. ‘Go’ is a passive verb probably implying they will be going somewhere. Particularly the apostles were to go, as they are sent (Greek word for apostle means sent), into the world to proclaim Jesus as the world’s savior. And just how were they and by extension the church to make disciples? By baptizing into the name of God and teaching them everything Jesus had taught them. We should take note the name is singular signifying the unity and oneness of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Each one is LORD, Almighty, Holy, and God yet they are one LORD, one Almighty, one Holy and one God. We are to be baptized into that one name. We are made the dwelling place of God and God becomes where we live, move and have our being. We are brought into his life and being in the Son, Jesus Christ. Having been brought into the life of God we are to be taught what that life is, as Jesus taught his disciples and we are to keep, treasure, observe and do all the apostles have handed down to us in the sacred scriptures, everything Jesus had handed to them.

Heavenly Father, you have called us into your life, through faith in your Son Jesus Christ and by pouring into our hearts the Holy Spirit in baptism. Grant that by your grace and by the power of the Holy Spirit we are able to keep all that Jesus had taught the apostles and we may realize fully at Jesus’ revelation our life in you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion The Father Declared Jesus LORD & Christ

#DailyDevotion The Father Declared Jesus LORD & Christ

Acts 229Fellow Jews, I can tell you frankly our ancestor David died and was buried, and his grave is here to this day. 30He was a prophet and knew God had sworn to him to put one of his descendants on his throne. 31David saw what was ahead and said the Christ would rise again: He was not deserted when He was dead, and His body did not experience decay. 32 God has raised this Jesus — we’re all witnesses of that. 33Lifted up to God’s right hand and receiving from the Father the promised Holy Spirit, He has poured out what you see and hear. 34David didn’t go up to heaven, but he says: ‘The Lord says to my Lord, “Sit at My right 35until I make Your enemies Your footstool.” 36“Then all the people of Israel should know it’s true that God made Him Lord and Christ — this Jesus Whom you crucified.”

David, no matter how great a king he was and no matter how close to the LORD he was dead and buried. They could even point to his grave. While it is totally natural for David as a normal human being to be in the grave it still may jarring that your best and brightest was in the grave. However, David being a prophet foretold that the Christ would rise again. God indeed had raised this Jesus. The Jesus Peter said God planned to kill, the Jesus whom the crowd called to be crucified at the hands of sinful men. God had raised him from the dead. The apostles were witnesses of this. Unlike Lazarus or David, Jesus’ body did not experience decay. Five hundred disciples were witnesses of Jesus’ resurrection.

Not only that, but God had raise Jesus, lifted his body up to his right hand. In modern parlance, Jesus is brought to the position of God’s right hand man. He is exalted in his body to the position of all authority, power, honor and glory as the Father. David did not go up into heaven but prophesied concerning his seed Jesus, “Sit at My right 35until I make Your enemies Your footstool.” This is so the prophecy concerning him in Daniel would come to pass, 713“In the visions during the night I saw One coming with the clouds of the heavens like the Son of Man, and He came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Him. 14And He was given glory, power to rule, and a kingdom, so that all peoples, nations, and those of every language should serve Him. His authority is everlasting and will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will not be destroyed.” Jesus is the Son of God. The Father declared him LORD and Christ but raising him from the dead and seating him at his right hand. Jesus is equal to the Father concerning his divinity and exercises his divine power and authority now through his flesh.

The Good News in this is Jesus invites us to join him where he is. He intends to exalt us to his position. Jesus says in John 143“I’ll come again and take you home with Me so you’ll be where I am.” Paul says in Eph. 26 “He raised us with Him and had us sit with Him in heaven.” Daniel also writes in chapter 7, 27 “And the kingdom, along with the power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be given to the holy people of the Most High God. Their kingdom is everlasting, and all other authorities will serve and obey them.” Those who have been united with Christ in baptism, who have faith in Christ, have received the promised Holy Spirit. Having the Spirit, they are given everything that is Christ Jesus’ by right by grace. What becomes Jesus’ in his flesh he gives and shares with those who are one with him in the Spirit.

Almighty and merciful Father, you raised your Son Jesus Christ and seated him with you at your right hand to declare both LORD and Christ. Jesus has poured out his Spirit upon us that we may be made one with him in Spirit and receive in our flesh all that you have worked in Christ. Keep us always in this faith that we may received this at Jesus’ revelation to all flesh. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.

#DailyDevotion God Accomplishes What He Wants Through Wicked People

#DailyDevotion God Accomplishes What He Wants Through Wicked People

Acts 2:14a, 22-28 14 Then Peter got up with the eleven, raised his voice, and addressed them: 22“Men of Israel, listen to what I have to say: Jesus from Nazareth — God showed you Who the Man is by doing miracles, startling wonders, and miraculous signs through Him among you, as you know. 23God definitely planned and intended to have Him betrayed, and so you had wicked men nail Him to a cross, and you killed Him. 24But God set aside the pains of death and raised Him – death could not hold Him. 25David says of Him: I always see the Lord before Me. He is at My right hand so that I will not be shaken. 26And so My heart is glad, and My tongue rejoices, yes, even My body will rest hopefully, 27because You will not leave Me in the grave or let Your Loved One experience decay. 28You show Me ways of life. You will fill Me with joy by being with Me.’

Peter’s message here in his first sermon on Pentecost covers a number of things. Here he is laying out the basis for the charge against his fellow Jews who put Jesus to death. First is that God showed who Jesus is (note not was) by the things Jesus had done i.e. miracles, startling wonders, and miraculous signs. These would have been seen by all the people from Galilee to Jerusalem. Many of them were even witnessed by the Jews who came from all over the world to be there for the last Passover. Jesus had healed lepers, paralytics and those of various diseases. Jesus feed the multitudes multiple times with little to start with. Jesus cast out demons and freed people from demonic possession. He taught the people as one having authority and forgave them their sins. He raised many dead. Last of all he raised Lazarus from the dead having been dead for four days and he raised him whole. These things should have convinced them who Jesus was.

This Jesus God planned to have betrayed and put to death. It was God’s plan to have this done. We see it in Genesis 3;15, Isaiah 53 and Rev. 13:8. It was for the salvation of our souls. Yet, how would God get this done? “You had wicked men nail Him to a cross, and you killed Him.” It is always interesting to see God working. God would use the wickedness of men’s heart and what they would accomplish with those wicked hearts to accomplish their salvation and our salvation. Believe it or not, God is still in control over all that happens in the world and in the cosmos. He does accomplish his goals even through all of our wickedness and rebellions. Though I must say, you really don’t want to be his agents in such cases as Christians. Because even if you are his agents, you are still responsible for what you do, cf. the Egyptians, Assyrians and Babylonians.

God also spoke through his prophet David, the king of Israel, that God would raise this Jesus from the dead. That is what he did. The apostles were witnesses to it. Jesus’ family was witness to it. Even some five hundred disciples were witness to it. God’s promise was fulfilled. Death could not hold Jesus and he is now raised and seated at the right hand of God. More than that, what God spoke of Jesus through David now also applies to all who put their trust in Jesus. Our bodies can rest hopefully. He will not leave us in the grave. He will show us the paths of life. He will fill us with joy being with us. Yes, as God raised Jesus from the dead to eternal life, all who put their trust in Jesus will be raised from the dead. Just as Jesus was exalted to the right hand of God in his body, so too we will be bodily with our God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. As Job has written, “I will see my Redeemer with my own eyes in my own body.”

Heavenly Father your thoughts and plans are higher than ours and you planned our redemption to be accomplished through wicked hands. Give us faith to trust you know what you are doing and you rule over all creation so we may live in peace. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.