The withered hand

A Rebellious Hand can be Restored

1 Kings 13:4-6 “4 When the king heard the word that the man of God had cried out against the altar at Bethel, Jeroboam stretched out his hand from the altar and said, “Arrest him!” But the hand he stretched out against him withered, and he could not pull it back to himself. 5 The altar was ripped apart, and the ashes poured from the altar, according to the sign that the man of God had given by the word of the Lord.
6 Then the king responded to the man of God, “Plead for the favor of the Lord your God and pray for me so that my hand may be restored to me.” So the man of God pleaded for the favor of the Lord, and the king’s hand was restored to him and became as it had been at first.”(HCSB)

It is amazing as to how distant stories—seemingly distant—hit so close to home. King Jeroboam had set up his own temple and worship system to worship God and here we have the confrontation by God’s prophet about that system. We all do this, we all are setting up altars and temples and sacrifices to worship God that are about what our hands have made.

Everlasting Water

Grace in Social Crisis

John 4:7-14 “A woman of Samaria came to draw water. “Give Me a drink,” Jesus said to her, 8 for His disciples had gone into town to buy food. 9 “How is it that You, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a Samaritan woman?” she asked Him. For Jews do not associate with Samaritans. 10 Jesus answered, “If you knew the gift of God, and who is saying to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would ask Him, and He would give you living water.” 11 “Sir,” said the woman, “You don’t even have a bucket, and the well is deep. So where do You get this ‘living water’? 12 You aren’t greater than our father Jacob, are You? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and livestock.” 13 Jesus said, “Everyone who drinks from this water will get thirsty again. 14 But whoever drinks from the water that I will give him will never get thirsty again—ever! In fact, the water I will give him will become a well of water springing up within him for eternal life.”(HCSB)

Too often Christians come to social issues with a mindset that they must rectify that social issue, and set the record straight. Although this can have its benefits, what we see Jesus do in this passage is what should be the aim of all Christians.

The Barren Mountains

The Answer to Spiritual Deadness

Psalm 48:9 “God, within Your temple, we contemplate Your faithful love. ”(HCSB)

So often I see people lost and wandering the world in the midst of their Christian walk. They do not know what is wrong but know that something is wrong. Here in our verse the Psalmist gives us a simple yet clear answer to our seemingly empty and sad Christian life. The first thing we see here is that Christianity must be and needs to be in Christ. You may say, “Where did you get that from?” Simply said, the rest of the bible and in places specifically like John 2:19-21, we know that Christ Himself is the temple. You see, Beloved, we cannot seek to have a Christianity which is outside of Christ; it is within the temple that is Christ that we are able to contemplate the goodness of God. What does that mean practically?

A Canal

What is Truly Goodness for the Christian?

Matthew 5:3 “The poor in spirit are blessed, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs.”(HCSB)

Our Lord has a way of saying things which are clearly not found in the human mind. He opens his public sermon by basically saying that people who realize that they have nothing good in themselves at all to make them in any way acceptable are blessed people who possess the kingdom.So what is Christian good, beloved? Christian good is having a regular and ongoing and continuous sense that you are unrighteous, undone, unworthy, and in need of a righteous substitute, a doing for you, a worth for you. Our Lord here clarifies what Christian goodness is really about and simply said Christian goodness is having a deep sense of our badness before God. Let us notice something first, where does spiritual poverty come from? How do we live as people who see no good in them at all and only see good in Christ being good for them? Well our text says that the poor in spirit are blessed not those who are poor will be blessed. Being aware of sin is not some man-made product, it is not some effort of man’s will to be poor in spirit; spiritual poverty on earth is the result of sovereign blessing from heaven. So let us be clear, God’s blessing by grace makes us have this Christian goodness of knowing and embracing our absolute badness. We must not make poverty of spirit some moralistic product of self-effort.

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