Archive for the ‘blessed’ Category

Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah – Jeremiah 31:31 (NKJV)

God Promises a New Future with His New Covenant

Judah and Israel were expected to rejoice with singing and dancing, according the Lord. He declared a bright and bountiful future for them along with a new covenant between both Judah and Israel with Him. This included prosperous crops planted “on the mountains of Samaria” (v. 5, NKJV). The entire future looked pleasant for “the remnant of Israel” who the Lord was bringing back to the land of their forefathers, the land of promise given over to the children of Israel.

The new future promised to Israel and Judah hinges upon a “new covenant” between God and them. “At that time,” declares the Lord, “I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be My people.” (v. 1, NASB). According to the Bridgeway Bible Dictionary: “A covenant was an agreement between two parties that laid down conditions and guaranteed benefits, depending upon a person’s keeping or breaking the covenant.” Additionally, it says: “Covenants between God and the people he created, however, differed from purely human covenants. They were not agreements between equals, because God was always the one who gave, and people were always the ones who received.”

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Live @ Lunch Bible Study Continues with the Jeremiah Journey

This week we’ll continue with the #JeremiahJourney and explore the new future promised by God with the new covenant He made with Judah and Israel. Last week’s Bible study lesson on chapter 30 focused on the promise of a new covenant coming forth. What we did not get were the enumerated details that God included in this current chapters. This chapter is filled with promises of a hopeful and plenteous future of God with His people in a time of harmony and bliss.

This sounds like almost too much, huh? Is this really in the Bible like that?

Jeremiah is the type of biblical text that challenges the reader to keep an eye out for anything odd or out of place. This chapter is no different, especially as you encounter Jeremiah’s brief explanation of his “vision” in verse 26 and the usage of Ephraim as an address about the house of Jacob and an inclusion of the Northern Kingdom starting at verse 15.

What are to Make of Jeremiah Awaking from a Deep Sleep (v. 26)

Consider that Jeremiah awakens in somewhat of a stupor in the midst of God laying out His declaration of the future of the remnant of Israel. He says that his sleep was god to him, even referenced it as “sweet” in another translation. Commentaries widely vary on their interpretation of this verse, including one where the church is substituted for Israel in the latter days and the rejoicing is rooted in the prophecy of the incarnation of Christ. Somebody please tell me that I go that wrong. Otherwise, we’re back to addressing replacement theology and all that comes with it. I mean even covenant theology is scrutinized by Dr. Reluctant online. Bob on Books gives a thorough review of another book on Jeremiah and its theology presented by a book like The Theology of Jeremiah: The Book, the Man, the Message by John Goldingay

Ephraim: Son of Israel and Cameo Appearance in Jeremiah Chapter 31

God even includes a mention of Ephraim in a section of this chapter. To novice Bible readers, this might seem like a vast departure from the subject of Israel and Judah without some explanation. Ephraim was the second son of Joseph, son of Jacob AKA Israel. Oddly enough, the favoritism that plagued Jacob’s fatherhood with his own sons extended to how he dealt with Ephraim and Manasseh. This ends up with Ephraim receiving rights of the first born and bypassing Manasseh, all of which was against Joseph’s own wishes. Based on this switch of roles, Ephraim is referred to as Israel and symbolically represents the tribes of the Northern Kingdom. Read more about this odd relationship and role for this “son of Jacob” in our weekly Bible study discussion guide.

Pray and Don’t Lose Heart

Get your FREE copy of the August 2021 Prayer Calendar from Life Path Multimedia Ministries. Join us in an effort to pray more in these days as we see a drift from the things of God towards the ways of the world in our churches and among our family and friends. It’s not a new thing that we’re facing, but it also has an age old cure in the effectual fervent prayer of those who seek the Lord’s intervention on today’s matters of heaven and earth. Prayer is just one of our weapons of spiritual warfare available to help us and strengthen us.

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In case you missed last week’s livestream: watch it here!!

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There are times in our lives when we just have to agree to start expecting more.  We cannot simply keep accepting the status quo.  Something has to change.

Why not change your perspective on life?

As a Christian, you may not escape the pains and heartaches of this life.  Pain will come.  Heartaches will happen.  That is life.  Yet, how we live our lives is what should separate us from the rest of the world.

Start changing how you approach matters in life.  Let each be met with eager anticipation, expecting God to do marvelous works right before your eyes, right in the midst of your presence.

Start meeting your days with expectancy.  Start watching God do His best for you and through you.

Oh, and by the way, be ready.

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6 With what shall I come before the LORD and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? 7 Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams,  with ten thousand rivers of olive oil? Shall I offer my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? 8 He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.  Dual Citizens: Worship and Life Between the Already and the Not YetAnd what does the LORD require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy The Book of the Twelve Prophets Commonly Called the Minor: Amos, Hosen and Micah. with an Introd. and a Sketch of Prophecy in Early Israel. 1896and to walk humbly with your God. –Micah 6:6-8– (NIV)

Doing Good: A Grace-Filled Approach to HolinessWhat does God want you to do?

Have you ever pondered the question? Has your mind ever wondered about it? Have you ever had to search for such an answer?

Look at the prophecy of Micah.  He offers the believer insights into pleasing and honoring God.  We are dual citizens, living both on earth and prepared for heaven.  Our bodies dwell here, but our hearts desire heaven.

Preachers and Misfits, Prophets and Thieves: The Minister in Southern FictionThe Prophets as Preachers: An Introduction to the Hebrew ProphetsMicah’s prophecy sheds light on social responsibility in combination with brotherly love.   It shows us how we can offer social justice and equity in the light of oppressive conditions.  We,as believers in Christ, owe the Lord a lifestyle dedicated and devoted to following His ways as well as His Word.  We need to follow His example and offer ourselves entirely over to Him in submission.  He is our King.  He is our Lord.  We need to see Him as the supreme authority over our lives.

The Invisible Hand: Do All Things Really Work for Good (Sproul, R. C. R.C. Sproul Library.) (Sproul, R. C. R.C. Sproul Library.) (Sproul, R. C. R.C. Sproul Library.)Do good for God by doing some good.  Get in some good works.  Share a good word with someone. 

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Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings

Then God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her name Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. And I will bless her and also give you a son by her; then I will bless her, and she shall be a mother of nations; kings of peoples shall be from her.” Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, “Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?”- Genesis 17:15-17(NKJV)
Sarah: Women of Genesis
You have keep this in context.  God said what He would do through Abraham and Sarah in their old age, and then. .  . Okay, okay.  Let me say it another way.  God shared how He would bless the man and his wife with a child, even though they both were beyond the years of conception and . . . Maybe I just should say it a different way.  God informed Abraham that He would use Hs supernatural abilities to rid Sarah of her barren reproach, giving Abraham an heir of his own seed, his own blood, his own lineage.  Yeah, that’s right about the place that the old man fell on his face.  In worship?  He was in laughter, creating images in our minds of him most probably nearing tears with an ache in his side to go with it.
Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old?
And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?

That’s not the most reverent response to God known to man from the sound of it.  Abraham seems to take it a notch above a snicker with outright laughter if we take this at the surface.  Yet, let us not jump on Abraham so fast.  Genesis 18 complicates the matter even further when the Lord appears as three men approaching Abraham one day. 

Then they said to him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” So he said, “Here, in the tent.” And He said, “I will certainly return to you according to the time of life, and behold, Sarah your wife shall have a son.” (Sarah was listening in the tent door which was behind him.)  Now Abraham and Sarah were old, well advanced in age; and Sarah had passed the age of childbearing. Therefore Sarah laughed within herself, saying, “After I have grown old, shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also?”- Genesis 18:9-12 (NKJV)

Just like her husband, Sarah laughed at the idea.  She, too, saw it as an impossibility for her and her husband to rear children at their advanced years of age.  No matter if it is the Almighty God Himself or these three men entertained by Abraham, the idea presented to both husband and wife seems comical and causes both to laugh.

Was it really a laugh? Was it truly laughter? Were they both the same type of laughter?

The same root word is used in our English translation for “laughter” and “laughed,” making any distinction or differentiation between the two difficult.  You would think that both were similar if not the same.  Yet, Henry Morris points out in The Genesis Record that Abraham’s laughter was “with joy and surprise… not a laugh of doubt.” It is different from Sarah’s laughter that warrants the rebuke of the Lord in Genesis 18:13.  Morris calls Sarah’s laughter “cynical.”  Dr. Morris surmises that “her faith needed to be strengthened.”

Now Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age; and it ceased to be wit Sweatshirt X-Large WhiteUnlike the interaction with Abraham alone, the theophany in Genesis 18 leads to the Lord questioning Sarah’s laughter.  Despite Sarah’s denial, the Lord breaks through all of the mess and addresses the child of promise issue again, repeating the promise before both Abraham and Sarah.  Ultimately, He poses the deepest question that could be asked of any believer- whether they need their faith strengthened or not: Is anything too hard for the Lord?

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Now the man called his wife’s name Eve, because she was the mother of all the living.
– Genesis 3:20 (NASB)

She was called Eve.  She was the “mother of all the living.” I find it interesting that the man “named” his wife

 according to the New International Version.  This occurs in chapter 3, but let us look at chapter 2 for a moment.

And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man. – Genesis 2:23 (KJV)
He called her “Woman” before he called her “Eve.” He identified with her being a part of him before he recognized her as being the “mother of all the living.” He saw her as bone of his bones and flesh of his flesh “because she was taken out of Man.”  He saw them as interconnected beyond what they’re coming together would produce.

That’s the beauty of male-female relationships.  There’s so much that we see as differences between us.  Yet, God saw fit to take from the man to make the woman.  He created them both.  He utilized their union to symbolize Christ’s union with the body of believersHe sanctified and ordained the union of man and woman long before municipalities authorized and legalized marriages.  Yes, we were made for each other because He made us so and He saw that it was good.
Let us not neglect the blessed union that God has provided for us.  Let every marriage be seen as God’s sacred unification of man and woman as one flesh.  We should love one another, male and female, husband and wife, as gifts from the Most High to us.

And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed. – Genesis 2:25 (KJV)

*From Eden to Egypt is a series for Life Path Ministries by Rev. Bruce Jackson that chronicles a daily study and reading of the Book of Genesis and The Genesis Record by Henry M. Morris.

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Genesis Record, The: A Scientific and Devotional Commentary on the Book of Beginnings

The place was called “Eden.” The garden was called Eden by its Creator.  It was a garden “in the east” called Eden by God Himself.

Eden means “delight.” In some source, it may say that it means “bliss, paradise, delightful.”

It was the place where God placed Adam the first man.  “The whole world had been placed under man’s dominion, and it all was good in every way,”said Henry M. Morris.  “The Lord God put the man in the garden of Eden to care for it and work it” (Genesis 2:15, NCV).  “Adam was told to ‘keep’ the garden,” according to Henry M. Morris.

Think about that.  The EPA and its origin and purpose aside, I believe that what we really discover is that God created both man and the garden, but He placed the garden in man’s hands.  He gave dominion to the man.  The garden was the Lord God’s delight based upon its name.  He put mankind in charge of Eden. When we take our time to slow down and study Genesis, we discover that the Lord God put man “in charge of everything You made.”

God offers us another chance.  He allows us to “control” His land, His animals, and everything that He created.  We are stewards of God’s creation.  We have a reverent responsibility to God based on being from the line of Adam.  Look beyond the Garden of Eden and see how God cares for us enough to give us responsibility over His own delightful handiwork.

You put them in charge of everything you made.
You put all things under their control:
all the sheep, the cattle,
and the wild animals,
the birds in the sky,
the fish in the sea,
and everything that lives under water.
– Psalm 8:6-8 (NCV)

*From Eden to Egypt is a series for Life Path Ministries by Rev. Bruce Jackson that chronicles a daily study and reading of the Book of Genesis and The Genesis Record by Henry M. Morris.

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Believe it or not, Moses would be a pretty tough act to follow as a spiritual leader. He had seen God face to face and spent many days doing one-on-one meetings with God on Mount Sinai. Yet, Joshua was told to be both strong and courageous regarding leading the people of God into the Promised Land. He assured that the Lord was with him. Many of today’s leaders may not hear God’s audible voice in the same way Joshua heard it, but they need to hear from God. They need God’s assurance to lead God’s people into new territory. There’s little to no movement because there’s hardly any confirmation based upon limited communication and communion with God. When you have people trying to speak things into existence and determine their own destinies, there’s not much room left to hear from God. Maybe we should hear from the psalmist’s words first that simply said: “Be still and know that I am God. . .” (Psalm 46:10). Discover your destiny but learning to hear from the Divine.
Visit https://revbruce.wordpress.com/2010/01/02/broken-people/
John 15:11 speaks of your joy being “full.” You need to know that Christ’s joy is to be present within you. It should be within you and maintained at a “full” level. Imagine what life would be like if you livedwith your joy on full daily. That totally change your outlook on every single day as you operated on full joy.

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And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works. Hebrews 10:24 (NKJV)

I learned most of what i know and have come to understand about God, salvation, church, ministry and being a minister of God right by the bay.  It has been under Dr. Timothy J. Winters, the pastor of Bayview Baptist Church in San Diego.  San Diego has presented many learning opportunities for me in the Lord’s service and through the non[rofit and educational sectors of service within my community, but I have truly learned a different skill set under Pastor Winters and through Bayview Baptist Church.  I have been built up in what has been dubbed as “America’s finest city” for the work of the Lord.  My past is exactly that; it has passed on.  So, as I look forward towards 2010, I am inspired by the man who influenced and impacted me as my father in the ministry to reach new heights and accomplish new things that will lead to others being inspired and influenced as well.  I pray that Life Path Ministries touches lives in new and innovative ways for God this year.  I pray that we are able to reach hearts and souls for Christ.  If God could do such a work with me,  He surely can build up others by the bay and shoreline, the border and beyond.

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Today is a gift from God. He has allowed us to see today that we might further the expanse of the kingdom of God today by word and deed. Check out https://revbruce.wordpress.com/2009/12/22/quitting-time/ and see what God can do when you are ready to call it quits. I think we need to look on today as an opportunity to do great things in His name, not just another day. It’s another gift directly from Him. As the gospel melody tells us, ‘He didn’t have to let it be.’

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Blessed are. . .
Let’s face it. God is in the blessing business. He makes it His business to share His blessings that are designated for us with us. God has a plan than goes beyond what we see daily, but we are shown the majesty of His plan in our daily walk as we encounter people along the way. The blessings are found in His Word. Yet, we discover the power and potential of being blessed in the midst of ministry, actual service to others in His name.
I want to be blessed. Whether it be as a peacemaker or while I am being persecuted like one of the prophets, I want to be blessed like the Lord said on the Sermon on the Mount. If it be so, just as the Lord said, there is a “reward” beyond what we’ve known thus far.
Doing Good. . .
  • I’ve got to give a plug to my people at Bayview Charities for this weekly food distribution that they recently got started. Every Friday, from 10 am until 12 pm, Bayview Charities and its volunteers distribute food through Feeding America San Diego. Get in line by nine for the best of the pickings.
  • San Diego Area Congregations for Change (S.A.C.C.) is working with some key stakeholders on a series of town hall meetings on subjects vital to our communities. From public safety to health and prison reentry, these should serve as a platform for community members and congregations to hear from local civic leaders on the issues.
  • Thanks to everyone who participated in Operation Reach Out: Love Your Neighbor earlier this month. The Lemon-Aid Stand went off with a bang in spite of the rain shutting us down. Be on the lookout for something new coming this summer from Operation Reach Out. We are going to continue this Christian crusade for community change throughout the year in every way that God gives us to reach out to others.

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