Chronological Bible Reading – January 4 – The Tower

Today’s Reading: Genesis 10-11, 1 Chronicles 1:1-27

In the middle of some lengthy genealogies we find the account of the Tower of Babel (Gen. 11:1-9). God’s intent following the flood was that man would multiply and spread over all the earth.  However, in this account we have a clear sign of the sinfulness of the heart of man.  Remember, though Noah “walked with God,” he and his family were still descendants of Adam, infected with a sinful nature as a result of the Fall. (See Romans 5:12). Therefore, as we’ll see throughout Scripture, man has a bent toward sin and rebellion. Continue reading

Chronological Bible Reading – January 3 – The Ark and The Cross

Today’s Reading: Genesis 7-9

I recently led the men in my discipleship group through a Downline Ministries* study of Genesis 6-11.  In this lesson we examined similarities between the Ark of Noah and the Cross of Christ.  It always amazes me how God uses the entirety of His Word to point us to Jesus.  Here are the things we discussed:

  1. God saves through an implement of wood – a boat and a cross.
  2. There is only one means of salvation – either be on the boat or in the cross or perish. (see John 14:6)
  3. Salvation through covenant – either enter covenant by entering the ark or through the Cross of Jesus Christ. (see Genesis 6:17-18 and Hebrews 8 and 9)
  4. Salvation for all – creatures of every kind and people from every tribe, tongue, and nation. (see Revelation 7:9)
  5. Salvation through what seems foolish from the world’s perspective. (see 1 Cor. 1:18 as well as yesterday’s post)
  6. God is faithful to His persecuted Redeemer.

These six points are meant for more than interesting discussion starters.  Ultimately they should help us fix our eyes on the completed work of Jesus Christ.  Take some time today and thank God for the salvation He provides through the sacrificial death of His Son.

Rest in Jesus,

Andy

* For more information on Downline Ministries and discipleship resources they provide, click here.

Advent Devotion 19 – The Purpose of Christmas

Today’s Reading – John 4-6

John 3:16-18 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.  For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.  Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

Christmas is the ultimate display of the love of God for the world.  When we were lost in darkness and depravity, He saw fit to send His one and only Son to live, die, and rise from the dead so that we could be saved.  Christmas is about the gospel.  You and I were lost in sin and separated from God.  No amount of good works or attempts to earn God’s favor would ever be enough to bridge the gap between our sin and His holiness.  God would have been entirely justified to leave us in our condition and condemn us to hell.  Yet in His great love, grace, and mercy, He saw fit to send Jesus.  When He came and died upon the cross, Jesus paid the penalty for the sin of the world.  The penalty for all past, present, and future sin was placed upon Jesus as He hung on the cross.  It is this sacrifice that allows God to remain entirely just while forgiving us.  Our sin must be paid for, and the Gospel tells us that Jesus is willing to pay our debt.  To refuse the free gift of salvation means we are still obligated to pay the penalty ourselves.  To receive the gift of salvation through repentance and faith results in our debt being paid, and not only this, but the righteousness of Jesus Christ is then credited to our account so that as God looks at us, He no longer sees our sin, but the very righteousness of Christ.  This is the Gospel.  This is the reason Christmas is such a joyous time to celebrate.  Jesus’ birth set into motion the fulfillment of God’s redemptive plan, and because of this we worship Him!

Have you received the free gift of salvation?  Maybe someone you know recommended you visit this site today.  Maybe you came across this blog entry by accident.  The truth is, the fact that you are here and reading these words is a display of the grace of God on your life.  Maybe you’ve heard the gospel before.  Maybe you’ve been in church your whole life. Maybe you’ve been running from God.  Wherever you find yourself today, if the truth of the Gospel is striking something deep within you, don’t turn a deaf ear.  If the Holy Spirit is stirring your heart, the correct response is to repent and believe.  Repent means to turn from your current way of life.  Turn from your rebellious and sinful ways, and allow the Spirit of God to transform you from the inside out.  Place your faith in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, and the Bible says you will be saved.  You will go from death and separation from God to salvation, eternal life with God when this life ends, and abundant life today as you walk with Him.

If you have questions about the Gospel or how you can be saved, please feel free to contact me directly through e-mail at abeal@colonialheights.org or by calling our church office at (601)-956-5000.  Even if I am not available by phone, there will be someone here who can share with you the hope we have in Christ and why Christmas is such a joyous time of celebration for those who know Him in a saving way.

Rest in Jesus,

Andy

Are You Saved?

Last night I visited Mississippi College to hear a message from Paul Washer. Paul is the founder of Heartcry Missionary Society (www.heartcrymissionary.com) and possesses a zeal for the truth of God’s Word. His topic last night was “The Doctrine of Man”

I had heard Paul Washer before through downloaded sermons and YouTube and knew him to be a “hard” preacher, but to hear him in person was a terrifying event! As Washer preached about the sinfulness of man in light of the holiness of God, I didn’t hear anything new, but his focus upon the doctrine of regeneration was one of the best I have heard! I want to share just a few of the highlights from last night below. Continue reading