Of God’s Own, We Give

Monday, October 23, 2017

Now therefore, our God, we thank thee, and praise thy glorious name. But who am I, and what is my people, that we should be able to offer so willingly after this sort? for all things come of thee, and of thine own have we given thee” (1 Chronicles 29:13,14 KJV).

What can King David teach us here?

In chapter 28, dying David assembled all the rulers of Israel for to deliver a speech; among them is Solomon his son and successor (verse 9). David purposed to build the LORD God a temple, but He forbad him because he was a “man of war” (verse 3). God has determined that Solomon will build the Temple, so David encourages Solomon and gives him the pattern God revealed to him (verses 5-13). Moreover, David has stockpiled building materials—the very best (verses 14-21)!

Chapter 29 is a continuation of David’s charges to Solomon. David has prepared silver, gold, brass, iron, wood, onyx stones, precious stones, and marble stones in abundance (verses 1-5). Moreover, “the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy” (verse 9).

Beginning in verse 10 and on into verse 19 (including today’s Scripture), David offers a humble prayer. Have they really done anything special for God in giving these supplies? No. As the Creator, He spoke those natural resources into existence… they were already His anyway! Yea, when He gave Israel victory over their enemies, the Jews gained such spoils/riches. Verse 16 says: “O LORD our God, all this store that we have prepared to build thee an house for thine holy name cometh of thine hand, and is all thine own.”

Today, how sad it is that sin causes many professing “Christians” to not give so much as one penny to the Lord’s work and ministry! This should not be, friends. If the Jews of old “with perfect heart… offered willingly”—with such joy—how much more we should gladly give today! “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).

Singing and Shouting

Sunday, November 13, 2016

“Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth? declare, if thou hast hast understanding. Who hath laid the measures thereof, if thou knowest? or who hath stretched the line upon it? Whereupon are the foundations thereof fastened? or who laid the corner stone thereof; when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4-7 KJV).

Friend, have you ever heard such wonderful music or singing that you thought it was the most beautiful in the whole world? You were so emotionally moved that it was exhilarating beyond description, right? Perhaps you rated it as the greatest in the history of music. In light of today’s Scripture, you must reconsider!

Today’s Scripture is part of the opening of the final section of the Book of Job. Satan has wrought such heartache and havoc in Job’s life, but God is about to deliver him. God must first teach Job a lesson, however. Job has rattled on and on for many chapters, and now it is time for him to hush so the LORD can talk some sense into him. God begins by reminding Job of the Creation Week. Job was not present to see it, but God tells him all about it.

If we re-read today’s Scripture, we see a contractor laying out materials from foundation to completion. Measurements are taken, underpinnings are laid, the main structure is built, and the finishing touch is added. The Lord Jesus Christ purposefully created the heaven and the earth in a very organized manner, neither accidentally nor sloppily. Today’s Scripture says that, throughout this time, the angels watched their Creator at work. When it became increasingly apparent to them what He was erecting, these creatures responded by singing together and shouting for joy! We are left to wonder just how awesome that sounded. Lucifer, God’s chief song-leader and music director, had not yet fallen and become Satan. Recall, Lucifer’s body has built-in musical instruments (Ezekiel 28:13).

Whatever vocal and musical capacities these millions upon millions of angels fulfilled during and after the Creation Week, we can be sure they would put the world’s most beautiful singers and songs to shame! One day, when we get to heaven, brethren, we can join in with them! 🙂

The Depths of the Sea

Thursday, October 6, 2016

“He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea” (Micah 7:19 KJV).

What are these “depths of the sea?”

Earth’s oceans are very mysterious. Great depths, extreme pressure, and immense darkness hinder us from thoroughly exploring them. Actually, we know more about the Moon—or even Mars (!)—than we do about our own planet’s oceans! Scientists have discovered only a fraction of the species that exist in our oceans. Various deep trenches and innumerable caves and crevices are hiding places for who knows what! Average ocean depth on Earth is about 2.3 miles (12,100 feet / 3.7 kilometers). The deepest part of our Earth’s ocean basins is Challenger Deep, the southern part of the Marianas Trench, located in the western Pacific Ocean. Challenger Deep has been measured to have a depth of nearly 7 miles (36,200 feet / 11 kilometers)!!

Near the close of his book, the Prophet Micah wrote today’s Scripture. Having talked throughout about Israel’s coming judgment (historically, from our view, they were the Assyrian and Babylonian captivities), as well as her coming Messiah to rescue her from her sins and her enemies (still future, even from our view), Micah concludes the book with the Abrahamic Covenant: “Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn unto our fathers from the days of old” (verse 20). The Abrahamic Covenant was God’s first and foremost agreement with Israel (Genesis 12:1-3). No matter what Israel would do, no matter how deep into sin and idolatry she would go, that covenant was unconditional. It would hold because of God’s faithfulness.

When writing about Father God taking care of Israel’s sins, the Holy Spirit declares He will throw all of Israel’s sins into “the depths of the sea.” (Think of Challenger Deep!) Those sins will never be brought up again. Neither Israel’s human enemies nor Satan will ever find them. God will never again hold them against Israel! The New Covenant will take care of those sins forever (Jeremiah 31:34; Hebrews 8:12; Hebrews 10:17). “I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more!”

In the Beginning

Saturday, September 5, 2015

“In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth” (Genesis 1:1 KJV).

Have you ever wondered about those first three words of the Bible?

Someone recently asked me, “‘In the beginning?’ God had a beginning?!” Oh no, dear friends, the Bible’s opening words “in the beginning” do not refer to God Himself. Rather, they define a point in time when He began to labor to construct creation from nothing. Let us think about some verses.

“Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God” (Psalm 90:2). Before creation, there was nothing but God—Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. There were no people or angels, no animals or plants, no rocks or minerals, no bodies of water, no oxygen and other gases, no sun, moon, stars, planets—nothing. All matter was non-existent. Our feeble, little minds cannot comprehend it but ‘tis true. “He that built all things is God” (Hebrews 3:4b).

No, the universe is not eternal, as some claim. It had a definite beginning. It was Genesis 1:1. Some people do not like that, and they do not have to like it, but whether they are for it or against it, does not change what Genesis 1:1 says… both in Hebrew and in English! No, the universe is not self-sustaining. It needed the triune Godhead to bring it into existence just as Genesis 1:1 says, and a universe left to operate without a holy Creator God would be far worse off than it is today!

If God had a beginning, He would not be God, for that which existed before Him would be God. (So, when atheists and agnostics haughtily ask us, “Where did God come from?,” we can simply reply with confidence, “It is as you say, He most definitely is God,” and let them figure out what it means!) The heaven and the earth had a beginning: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. All things were made by him [the Lord Jesus Christ]; and without him was not any thing made that was made” (John 1:1,3). 🙂

You may enjoy our related study, “Was God ‘bored’ before creation?

A Man of 27, a Master of Geology, and His God of Grace

Friday, August 7, 2015

“But by the grace of God I am what I am…” (1 Corinthians 15:10a KJV).

Saints, today is a special day for two reasons. Firstly, today is my 27th birthday! Secondly, I am graduating college with a master’s degree in geology!

These past 27 years have been quite a joy, despite the many “valleys.” Furthermore, I have spent one-third of my life in college—those nine years (4 1/2 years as an undergraduate and 4 1/2 years as a graduate student) were fun as well. All of these years have just flown by and two major chapters of my life have now closed. What a thrilling concept! There is a certain sadness to it as well, I suppose. I now have to adjust to many new circumstances.

I still have a lot more to learn about life and in life, but I thank our God and Father for preserving me all these years and shielding me from the evil world system that Satan intended to use to defile me. The men and women who played a vital role in my physical life as well as my spiritual life and my intellectual life, I will never forget them—my parents, my two older brothers, my friends and classmates, my teachers and professors, pastors, and many others. While not everything they taught me was good information, it did greatly sharpen me and cause me to better appreciate God’s truths that I learned as a small child.

So, what now, you ask? I have not yet made any final decisions, but I do have a tentative schedule with prospective goals. It does involve Earth science, that I know. We will see where ministry takes me as well. On one hand it is exciting, but on the other the mysterious part of it produces some anxiety. 🙂 For those of you who have prayed for me all these years, thank you from the bottom of my heart. We can now see that those prayers were not in vain. Our Lord Jesus Christ did a mighty work and we rejoice in Him that He has some wonderful plans to come!

Grad 2015Shawn Brasseaux
Master of Science, Geology
University of Louisiana at Lafayette
2015

Stones Whose Praises Would Rock Creation

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

“And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out” (Luke 19:40 KJV).

Why did our Lord Jesus Christ utter such a strange statement?

It was less than a week before He would die on Calvary’s cross, and He had entered Jerusalem on a donkey’s colt, a perfect fulfillment of a Messianic passage: “Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass” (Zechariah 9:9).

Believers in Jesus, those who recognized Him as the fulfillment of hundreds of specific Old Testament prophecies of Messiah, “began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works that they had seen; saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord: peace in heaven, and glory in the highest” (Luke 19:37,38). The Bible says, “And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples” (verse 39). Today’s Scripture was Jesus’ reply to the Pharisees.

Geologically speaking, rocks are inorganic; they are composed of non-living minerals. Yet, the Creator Himself, Jesus Christ, said that they had the ability to “cry out.” Some may say that the notion of non-living objects “crying out” is preposterous, and the Bible unbeliever is free to feel that way. We may, however, point out that it was outlandish that most Jews—creatures with brains and souls—turned a blind eye to the hundreds of prophecies Jesus fulfilled, specific indications He was their long-promised Messiah, the Son of God.

The Holy Spirit through the Prophet Zechariah urged Israel to rejoice and shout when her Messiah came forth on the donkey, and yet here some Jews discouraged the exhibition of such joy! Had no person praised Jesus on that day of the so-called “Triumphal Entry,” surely other aspects of creation would have honored their Creator. The sounds of their praise would have “rocked creation” indeed! 🙂

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Could you please clarify Ephesians 2:18-22?

Faith During Life’s Storms #4

Saturday, September 6, 2014

“And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish. And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm (Matthew 8:25,26 KJV).

Like Israel learned in today’s Scripture, we too must realize to trust the Lord Jesus Christ when “the storms of life” batter us.

To demonstrate to His disciples that He was the Creator God in human flesh, the Lord Jesus commanded the winds and the sea to be quiet… and instantly, the waters were just as calm as before. JEHOVAH stills the noises of the raging seas and waves (Psalm 65:7; Psalm 89:9; Psalm 107:29); JEHOVAH in the flesh (Jesus Christ) did likewise. “He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still” (Psalm 107:29). If He could create those natural laws from nothing with just a few spoken words, He could easily manipulate them to disassemble a storm (with just a few spoken words!).

Both before and after Jesus Christ calmed the storm, His disciples were guilty of unbelief (today’s Scripture; Mark 4:40; Luke 8:25). Their sinful hearts were deceitful. “But the men marveled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!” (Matthew 8:27). Mark (4:41) put it this way, “And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” Luke wrote (8:25), “And they being afraid wondered, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.” Oddly enough, Jesus’ disciples were just as troubled during the storm as they were after He had dissipated it! The Scriptures indicate they still did not get what He had taught them.

What Israel of the future can learn is this… despite all the horrors of the seven-year Tribulation period, that “storm of life” will pass, and there will be peace as such the world has not seen since the creation week….

Our latest Bible Q&A: “Who is ‘the great cloud of witnesses’ of Hebrews 12:1?