On the Holy Bible

Friday, February 28, 2014

“But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4 KJV).

If you are seeking God’s words today, you can find them today!

Where are God’s words? In non-existent original manuscripts? In a preacher’s inner impressions? In our emotions or circumstances? In a prayer closet? In a denominational handbook, hymnal, Bible commentary, or Hebrew or Greek grammar? In an “angelic visitation?” In Bible study footnotes? In the latest, best-selling modern translation? These are usually the places where people look for God’s words, but despite all that reading and praying, they rarely find them. Very few ever actually find those precious words of God because of the confusion as to where to find them and because nearly all of the places that are presumed to have God’s words have everything but them!

In today’s Scripture, the Lord Jesus Christ affirmed that mankind needed spiritual food just as much as he needed physical food. To be physically alive but spiritually dead is not God’s original plan for man! Jesus is quoting Deuteronomy 8:3, where Moses taught Israel the same principle: Israel had 40 years of physical manna to eat but they were starving spiritually, experiencing “leanness [of] soul” because of their unbelief (Psalm 106:15)!

The prophet Isaiah foretold how God the Father “wakeneth [Jesus Christ] morning by morning, [his] ear to hear as the learned” (50:4). Every morning during His earthly ministry, Jesus studied the Old Testament scrolls, and He learned God the Father’s will (cf. Luke 2:40,52; John 8:26-29). Even Jesus Christ depended on the Holy Bible for wisdom, and He knew today’s Scripture firsthand. Jesus lived completely reliant on God’s Word—living the life God originally wanted mankind to live!

Jesus Christ reassured us, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away” (Matthew 24:35; Mark 13:31; Luke 21:33). We have those preserved words of God in English, the King James Bible. May we never, ever take them for granted and may we never, ever abandon them. May we study them and believe them, lest we spiritually starve!

On Jesus Christ

Thursday, February 27, 2014

“For there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (1 Timothy 2:5,6 KJV).

If you are seeking soul salvation today, you can find it today!

Whether Christian, Muslim, Jew, agnostic, skeptic, or atheist, we all know that sin exists. We each have a conscience, a system of standards and norms that govern our behavior, values, and beliefs. There are many times when we know to do right (our conscience), and we do not do it—that is what sin is. Some ignore or deny their sin; others attempt to cover it up with “good” deeds, prayers, ceremonies, rites, and rituals; still others suffer self-inflicted punishment to (hopefully) pay for their sins. Despite all that activity, very few ever actually get those sins paid for because of the confusion as to how to get them paid and because nearly all of the ways that are presumed to lead to forgiveness lead to everything but it!

In today’s Scripture, we learn about the only solution to man’s sin problem. What makes Christianity unique is that it alone teaches that God Himself took upon human flesh to pay for man’s sins! Every world religion is weak and beggarly because we sinners can never measure up to God in our own efforts. Thus, God the Son did for us what we could never do: He became one of us to then mediate between God the Father and us. Every instance where man had stumbled in sin, Jesus Christ triumphed. Jesus, being fully God and fully man, can take Father God and mankind and reunite them.

The price to pay for our sins was certainly not cheap: Jesus Christ is the only Man in all of human history who died for mankind’s sins, who offered Himself and His precious, sinless blood as the fully satisfying payment for sins, and who was raised again to give us eternal life. We simply come by faith (trust) in Jesus Christ’s finished crosswork alone, and then enjoy the same righteous standing He has before God the Father!

On Your Purpose

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created” (Revelation 4:11 KJV).

If you are seeking your purpose today, you can find it today!

Why are we here? From where did we come? Where are we going? The Holy Bible addressed these queries and answered them over 3,500 years ago, but philosophers and theologians still wrestle with these questions because they still wrestle with the Bible’s answers. Some seek to find purpose and meaning in life by studying nature, others by meditating, still others by praying, and so on. Despite all that searching, very few ever actually find the meaning of life because of the confusion as to how to find it and because nearly all of the ways that are presumed to lead to it lead to everything but it!

In today’s Scripture, the 24 elders in heaven have cast their crowns before Father God sitting on His throne in heaven, and they worship Him, particularly by uttering today’s Scripture, “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” They admit that their authority to rule is actually power that Father God gave them, power that they exercise to praise and honor Him. He is worthy to receive their crowns because that authority was His before He gave it to them!

The “things” in today’s Scripture are offices of government in heaven and earth (see Colossians 1:16,17). Colossians 1:18,19 say, “…that in all things he [Jesus Christ] might have the preeminence [supremacy]. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.” Originally, Father God wanted heaven and earth to glorify His Son, Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:9,10), so He created angels (for heaven) and humans (for earth) to carry out His will. Once angels and man sinned, God created the nation Israel (to restore earth) and the Church the Body of Christ (to restore heaven).

Why do you exist? Why does everything exist? To glorify the Lord Jesus Christ!

On God

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

“All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him” (Matthew 11:27 KJV).

If you are seeking God today, you can find Him today!

As our world drifts further and further from our Creator’s original design and purpose, it seems like it becomes more difficult for anyone seeking His truth, to find it. Some seek God in emotional experiences and inner impressions; others church buildings and altars; still others prayers, water ceremonies, “good” works, wine and wafers; and so on. Despite all that searching, very few ever actually find God because of the confusion as to how to find Him and because nearly all of the ways that are presumed to lead to God lead to everyone and everything but Him!

In today’s Scripture, the Lord Jesus Christ provided some valuable insight, but we need to look at in light of previous verses in order to get the full impact: “At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes. Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight. All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him” (verses 25-27).

God’s Word explains that if we want to know Him, we must come to Jesus Christ. We do not seek guidance to God from those who are controlled by the world’s wisdom, for (as Jesus said) they know not how to reach Him either! God has given to Jesus Christ some information, and Jesus Christ offers this information to mankind, that we may know Him, and in doing so, we may know His Heavenly Father. The Bible is very clear that we find God, not by what we do or do not do, but by Jesus Christ, and what He did for us.

333’s 1000th – God’s Glorious Grace

Monday, February 24, 2014

“And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also” (2 Timothy 2:2 KJV).

Only by God’s glorious grace, “333 Words of Grace” marks its 1000th devotional today!

Dear readers and saints around the world, it is difficult to imagine that we have come this far by God’s grace. For the last 1,000 days, we have allowed God’s Word to daily minister to our hearts and souls—what an edifying time it has been! However, we have not even scratched the surface of the abounding riches of God’s grace to us in Christ. We still have so much more to learn about God’s purpose and plan for heaven and earth, and we still have so much more to learn about our role in it. Still, I thank our Lord Jesus Christ to have had opportunity to share with you what “little” we have discussed.

From day 1, my constant prayer and desire has been to follow today’s Scripture. At one time, even as a saved individual (having assurance of soul salvation unto eternal life), religious tradition had robbed and deceived me concerning daily Christian living. My desire—yea, the Lord Jesus Christ’s desire—is that you be taught the truth that the Apostle Paul preached. My goal has always been to teach you God’s Word “rightly divided” (2 Timothy 2:15), to the intent that you teach others that same grace-oriented doctrine (today’s Scripture).

Lost people need to know the right Gospel for salvation today (Paul’s Gospel, the Gospel of the Grace of God; 1 Corinthians 15:1-4), and Christians need to know the right apostle to follow today (Paul, as he reveals Jesus Christ in his epistles, Romans through Philemon). The average church teaches its parishioners neither; hence, lost people remain lost and saved people remain confused.

Thousands more devotionals are slowly taking form, so onward we go for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for your continued prayer, for it has not been in vain. Lord willing, and only by His grace, we hope to serve you for at least another 1,000 days! 🙂

Joy in a Hopeless World

Sunday, February 23, 2014

“These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 KJV).

In the midst of a hopeless world, in Christ, we are joyful!

Hopelessness—such is the lot of sinners in a fallen creation. The psalmist questioned, “Why standest thou afar off, O LORD? Why hidest thyself in times of trouble? (Psalm 10:1). Despondent Job, longing for death, declared, “For my sighing cometh before I eat, and my roarings are poured out like the waters” (Job 3:24).

In the context of today’s Scripture, our Lord Jesus is preparing His apostles to bear the worst life experience they have known. They do not understand it yet, but they will soon witness horrific events—Messiah’s arrest, torture, and death by crucifixion. Their King will perish, and their whole world will be destroyed. They will experience such grief and despair.

Just hours before the awful events on Mount Calvary, Christ encouraged His Little Flock. He consoled them in today’s Scripture, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” No matter what happened—to Him or to them—they were not to allow their circumstances to distract them. They were to have such joy, such happiness (“be of good cheer”), not because they were suffering, but because Jesus Christ had already conquered the evil world system that was originating their persecution! In the midst of their troubles, He gave them His peace, an inner capacity to handle those problems as mature believers.

Israel’s Little Flock would have difficult days ahead, but, “in Christ,” they would have God’s joy. Likewise, in this world filled with grief, uncertainty, and suffering, “By [Jesus Christ] we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us” (Romans 5:2-5). 🙂

Victory in an Unfair World

Saturday, February 22, 2014

“These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 KJV).

No matter what may be done, victory in Christ is surely won!

Injustice—such is the lot of sinners in a fallen creation. The psalmist questioned, “LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked triumph?” (Psalm 94:3). Zophar, one of Job’s “friends,” answered, “Knowest thou not this of old, since man was placed upon earth, that the triumphing of the wicked is short, and the joy of the hypocrite but for a moment?” (Job 20:4,5).

In the context of today’s Scripture, our Lord Jesus is preparing His apostles to bear the worst life experience they have known. They do not understand it yet, but they will soon witness horrific events—Messiah’s arrest, torture, and death by crucifixion. Their King will perish, and their whole world will be destroyed. Satan will appear to have won, for the Man whom they thought would deliver Israel will be murdered and buried.

Just hours before the awful events on Mount Calvary, Christ encouraged His Little Flock. He consoled them in today’s Scripture, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” No matter what happened—to Him or to them—He declared that He had already won, and that He secured victory for them! Yes, He would be nailed to Calvary’s tree and die, but He would be raised again the third day and triumph over death! Yes, they would be imprisoned and killed for His sake, but He would resurrect them and bring them into their kingdom!

Israel’s Little Flock would have difficult days ahead, but, “in Christ,” they would have God’s victory. Likewise, in this world filled with grief, uncertainty, and suffering, “Nay, in all these things [troubles of life, verses 35 and 36] we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Romans 8:37). “But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Corinthians 15:57). 🙂

Peace in a Discordant World

Friday, February 21, 2014

“These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 KJV).

While there is turmoil outside, there need not be any inside.

Trouble—such is the lot of sinners in a fallen creation. Job spoke firsthand, “Man that is born of a woman is of few days, and full of trouble. He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not” (Job 14:1,2). A human’s earthly life is ever so brief, and sin makes it ever so complicated.

In the context of today’s Scripture, our Lord Jesus is preparing His apostles to bear the worst life experience they have known. They do not understand it yet, but they will soon witness horrific events—Messiah’s arrest, torture, and death by crucifixion. Their King will perish, and their whole world will be destroyed. In the verse preceding today’s Scripture, Jesus says, “Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me” (verse 32). Not too far into the future, all of Jesus’ followers will abandon Him, terrified of the Roman and Jewish governments.

Today’s Scripture is actually the conclusion of Jesus’ departing words to His Jewish believers (He started in John 14:1: “Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me”). He also told them, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).

Israel’s Little Flock would have difficult days ahead, but, “in Christ,” they would have God’s peace. Likewise, in this world filled with grief, uncertainty, and suffering, “the God of hope [will] fill you with all joy and peace in believing [God’s Word to you, Paul’s epistles of Romans through Philemon], that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost” (Romans 15:13). 🙂

The Natural View and the Spiritual View #12

Thursday, February 20, 2014

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7 KJV).

We continue addressing the associated objections and misconceptions concerning the recent Ken Ham/Bill Nye Creation/Evolution online debate….

Evolutionists very desperately attempt to bolster their theory. While not true of all Evolutionists, from personal experience (oral and written discussions with them, literature, debates, and so on), I know many exaggerate figures, ridicule us Bible-believing scientists as “not being true scientists,” promulgate artists’ imaginations as fact, and admit inconsistencies and unanswerable “mysteries” (even in their own theory). While Evolutionists claim to be “open-minded,” very few have ever been willing to meaningfully discuss Creation/Evolution matters with me.

Several questions thus arise. How can Evolutionists still believe their claims, even when they admit their theory is riddled with “speculation” and “mysteries?” How can they look at the design in nature and still deny God’s existence? Why do they reject the Bible? Frankly, it is better to believe evolutionary theory, than accept the Bible’s creation account. They hold to fallacies, lest they be forced to see their sinful state, their need to submit to their Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ, and believe and trust what He did for them on Calvary’s cruel cross.

Scripture says, “Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things which are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain [empty, worthless] in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools (Romans 1:19-22).

Early man knew his Creator God, but when sin entered, mankind lost that connection with Him. When confronted with the proof of God’s existence, sinful man simply tunes God out. The result is a mind that has no desire to ever see God’s truth, and a heart that has no desire to ever believe it (today’s Scripture).

NOTE: For our readers’ sakes, we will temporarily suspend this devotionals arc. More advanced Creation/Evolution studies are coming at a later date, so stay tuned!

The Natural View and the Spiritual View #11

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

“Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth” (2 Timothy 3:7 KJV).

We continue addressing the associated objections and misconceptions concerning the recent Ken Ham/Bill Nye Creation/Evolution online debate….

THE FOSSIL RECORD. Worldwide, geologists and biologists, especially paleontologists, have unearthed and studied innumerable fossils, remains of historical life forms preserved within rock. Over the centuries, these data were used to construct the “geological timescale,” a table that organizes Earth’s history into various sections of time, complete with fossils of life forms “evolving” at each time. From oldest to youngest, we find the prokaryotes (single-celled organisms, first appeared 3.8 billion years ago) to eukaryotes (multi-celled organisms, first appeared 2 to 2.5 billion years ago), “simple” bacteria and algae (“first life forms?”) to “complex” humans (the “pinnacle” of the process thus far).

COMMON ANCESTOR. “In addition, the fossil record has provided compelling evidence for the theory of evolution” (My college-level textbook, Biology, Brooker et al., 2008, page 469). (Bold emphasis mine.) The fossil record is assumed to document how new species mutated from preexisting ones through a four-billion-year-long process (generating the diversity of life we observe today). However, biologists acknowledge that genetic barriers are present in life forms today, and species can only reproduce with like individuals; the “common ancestor of all life forms” explanation for the fossil record is quite unbelievable—based on Scripture, and basic science!

THE GREAT DELUGE OF NOAH’S DAY. Except for a few disputed specimens, we have not found definitive “transitional fossils,” preserved remains of species that served as “bridges” to new species. We only find fossils of fully-formed creatures, and unless those species died out, they are identical to what we see alive in nature today. Due to lack of transitional fossils, a more plausible explanation for the fossil record is that it documents the order in which life forms—fully-developed life forms—perished in the Great Flood. Man, assumed to be the “most recently evolved,” was actually the last life form to delay his death in the floodwaters, frantically escaping to higher ground (perishing nevertheless).

Yet, despite it all, Evolutionists deny there is evidence for a Global Flood….