The Son of God — Smashing the World into Bits and Pieces

the son of god

I will tell of the decree: The LORD said to me, “You are my Son; today I have begotten you.  Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage, and the ends of the earth your possession.  You shall break them with a rod of iron and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”Psalm 2:7-9 (ESV)

Referring to the coming resurrection of the Christ (see Acts 13:33) the Father decrees that the Son of God can have the entire world as His inheritance. And for what purpose? To break the nations to pieces and smash them to bits. It all sounds quite violent, doesn’t it? While this decree had immediate implications, the reference appears to be to the coming of the end of the world order as we know it when the resurrected Son comes back and reclaims all that is His. There will come a time when all is destroyed to make room for God’s new and perfect creation (2 Peter 3:7ff).

While for the present Satan is the god of this world, the true King of the World is, and always has been, Jesus the Christ. We worship the Son who has the ability to create and destroy with a spoken word. He is all-powerful, and He is completely worthy of our praise. There is nothing that we can say or do that is more important or fulfilling than bowing down to Him in worship.

Reflection Questions:

1) Have you ever considered God’s violent nature? How does this nature fit in with your understanding of God’s holiness and grace?

2) Does God have the right to destroy His creation?

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Barry L. Davis spent two decades as a pastor and now works full-time writing and ministering to others in Christian ministry as well as to anyone else who is interested in learning and living out the Word of God. Learn more at: http://amazon.com/author/barrydavis

God…Changed His Mind

God changed his mind

When God saw what they had done and how they had put a stop to their evil ways, he changed his mind and did not carry out the destruction he had threatened. – Jonah 3:10 (NLT)

 Some say that God does not, or cannot change His mind. Yet when the citizens of Nineveh repented at the preaching of Jonah, God held back from His plans to destroy them and instead covered them with His mercy and grace. It wasn’t as if God had planned this all along, as He had made it quite clear that Nineveh would be destroyed – no ifs, ands, or buts about it.  So why did God change His mind? It was because the behavior of the people of Nineveh had changed. Their change in lifestyle resulted in a change in their destiny. God respects and reacts to the decisions and commitments we make for Him.circle

The Bible is quite clear in telling us that none of us deserve the mercy of God. We are each personally responsible for rebelling against Him, and we are all deserving of God’s wrath. Yet when we accept the fact that Jesus took the Father’s fury upon Himself and paid the price necessary to alleviate the guilt placed on our accounts, we find ourselves in the fortunate state of experiencing God’s mercy. And while we are expected to change our behavior as a result of our newfound commitment to God, we find that grace was given because of the behavior of another – namely, Jesus Christ. Because of Christ’s sacrifice, and our acceptance of it, God did not and will not “carry out the destruction He had threatened.”

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Barry L. Davis spent two decades as a pastor and now works full-time writing and ministering to others in Christian ministry as well as to anyone else who is interested in learning and living out the Word of God. Learn more at: http://amazon.com/author/barrydavis

Choosing Our Life’s Path

choosing

For the LORD watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction. – Psalm 1:6 (NLT)

Today’s religious pluralists would have us believe that there are many paths to God – one takes the path of Buddhism, another Taoism, and yet another, the path of Christianity. The analogy has been made that we are all traveling on a spiritual freeway, each going down a different lane, but all ending up at the same destination. Nothing could be further from the truth.

There are only two paths made available to us, and only two paths. One path leads to God and the other path leads away from Him. Each person makes his own choice as to which path he will walk down, and in doing so each person decides his fate in both this life and the life yet to come. For those who choose God’s path, there is an assurance that He will watch over them, protect them, and give them a hope that will not be shaken. Those who choose the path of the wicked have only eternal destruction to look forward to. The choice that we make today will have perpetual ramifications for the life to come. Praise God for giving us the gift of choice.

Reflection Questions:

1) If you are a Christian, does it bring you comfort to know that God is watching over your path?

2) Why would someone choose the path of destruction? What can you do today for those who have chosen the wrong path?

3) Is God watching you right now? Give Him praise!

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Barry L. Davis spent two decades as a pastor and now works full-time writing and ministering to others in Christian ministry as well as to anyone else who is interested in learning and living out the Word of God. Learn more at: http://amazon.com/author/barrydavis

Detrimental Doctrine

detrimental

As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines,  nor to pay attention to myths and endless genealogies, which give rise to mere speculation rather than furthering the administration of God which is by faith. — 1 Timothy 1:3-4 (NASB)

There is a great danger in Christian circles today that is becoming more and more prevalent – it is the failure to discern between what is truth and what is error, what is biblical and what is not, what is fact and what is fiction. In a misguided application of religious tolerance, we have not only allowed false doctrine to infiltrate our ranks, but in many ways have welcomed it. From prosperity teaching to false apostles to neo-Gnosticism, we have for too long looked the other way while God’s church has been permeated by false teaching.

Paul’s instruction to Timothy must be heeded and those who are teaching falsely must be stopped in their tracks. And what is false teaching? It is any teaching that takes away from the deity of Jesus Christ, or that elevates self above God, or that views the biblical revelation from God as a myth. It is anything that adds to, or takes away from Scripture.  Anything that contradicts the Bible must be rejected. These are not matters of opinion, but truths that have been clearly revealed to us by God.

Saved to Save Others

saved

This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”—and I am the worst of them all.  But God had mercy on me so that Christ Jesus could use me as a prime example of his great patience with even the worst sinners. Then others will realize that they, too, can believe in him and receive eternal life. – 1 Timothy 1:15-16 (NLT)

Jesus’ purpose in coming to planet earth was to save us from our lost condition so that we could be in a relationship with Him for all of eternity. Jesus saw this man Saul (later Paul, the author of these verses) persecuting His people, and doing everything he possibly could to destroy the Christian movement. And what was Jesus’ response to Saul’s sin? To reveal Himself and shower him with His mercy. And for what purpose? So that Saul could take the mercy granted to him and share it with the world.

The same could be said of each of us. Jesus has saved us so that we could spread the message of salvation to others. The most powerful evangelistic weapon we have at our disposal is our personal testimony. When we tell others our story of how Christ saved us, even though we were openly living in rebellion against Him, it shows them that they are not beyond forgiveness either.  Jesus has saved us because He loves us, but also because He fully expects us to take the message of salvation to others.

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Barry L. Davis spent two decades as a pastor and now works full-time writing and ministering to others in Christian ministry as well as to anyone else who is interested in learning and living out the Word of God. Learn more at: http://amazon.com/author/barrydavis

Surprise! It’s Not About You.

surprise

God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin. – 1 Corinthians 1:30 (NLT)

For those who approach Christianity from a works-based mentality, such a passage causes confusion. They have been trained to think that their relationship with Christ, and indeed, their eternal destiny, is based upon what they do, say, and think. Unfortunately for them, they will always live in the spiritual quagmire of uncertainty when it comes to their status in relationship to God.

Yet all of that is unnecessary.  While the Bible teaches us quite clearly that we are responsible to make a decision for Christ and that we are to live in obedience to Christ, our salvation is dependent, not on us, but on Jesus! The Father made our deliverance possible, but the Christ is the one who made us acceptablepure, and holy, through His sacrifice on the Cross. It is not about what we do, but about what Jesus has already done for us. To depend on self for salvation and spiritual security is to blaspheme the great act of God in the sacrifice of His Son.  What we must do is simply accept the salvation God offers us, rather than continually work toward His acceptance of us. God has already accepted us, saved us, and made us whole. When we understand that it isn’t about us, we will begin to live in peace.

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Barry L. Davis spent two decades as a pastor and now works full-time writing and ministering to others in Christian ministry as well as to anyone else who is interested in learning and living out the Word of God. Learn more at: http://amazon.com/author/barrydavis