Hello Project Ezra! Once again, I apologize for the late post last week. I was acting as a team leader for the Ambassador’s Academy in the Los Angeles area, and didn’t have the time I expected to complete the post. On the positive side, the Academy was amazing! I first attended three years ago, and it was a life changing experience. Last weekend I had the opportunity to see other lives changed, and it was truly a blessing. For those of you who have not attended or who are not familiar with the Academy, please take a few minutes to look at the links below. The first if for the promotional video, and second is the website where you can sign up. The last link is my reading for last week. It was filmed at the Santa Monica Pier, and boardwalk/amusement park, and was extremely busy. I hope these links encourage you.
This week we will be reading Job 28. This chapter contrasts the value of worldly riches and the lengths people go to obtain them with the one thing of true value in this life, the knowledge of God. Verse 28 says that the fear of the Lord is wisdom. Wisdom, simply defined, is the ability to put knowledge into proper practice in light of what is right and good. Since what is ultimately right and good is a reflection of God’s character, an understanding of His character is the ultimate in wisdom. It is vital that when we share the gospel, we help people understand this. Good and evil are not arbitrary decisions made by God, but reflections of who He is, since we were created in His image and for His glory.
I pray this outline will be a blessing. Although you could share the gospel simply by reading this aloud, and you are welcome to do so, this, like all our other readings, is meant to be an encouragement for you to dig into God’s word, to make sure that the gospel presentation is biblical (ALWAYS check everything against the word of God!), and to help build a foundation that will allow you to develop your own gospel presentations. The gospel message never changes, and that is the heart of the message. But the analogies and scripture verses (and there are many possibilities) you use to support that message can be tailored to your personality and your audience.
All for His glory,
READ JOB 28
What gives your life direction? What has value in your life? Is it earthly things, or heavenly things?
This chapter talks of searching and striving for precious metals and jewels, but asks if we also search for wisdom.
Wisdom can not be found in the physical world, and can not be bought with human riches. Wisdom is beyond the value of anything precious thing we know.
This chapter tells us that God understands the way of wisdom, and knows its place.
It tells us He knows everything and sees every end of the earth. He created and
measured the earth, and decreed the workings of nature. He also saw, declared, and established wisdom.
There is nothing more valuable than true knowledge of God, and no pursuit more wise than striving to obtain it.
Who God is defines the parameters of our world. More than that, who God is, and our relationship to Him, defines the parameters of our eternity.
The end verse in this chapter tells us that to fear the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding. If we are wise, we will understand who God is, and what our relationship to Him is.
And if we understand who God is, we will see that God Has given us His law, and that because we are rebels again Him and His law, because we do not reflect His holiness and goodness, and rather choose to go our own way, we stand condemned before Him.
You may believe yourself to be good, and so believe that God will overlook your sin. But God is perfect, and because He is perfect His justice will be perfect. He will perfectly punish not only murderers and rapists, but all who have done wrong.
He will punish liars. His character is truth and He expects the same from us.
He will punish thieves, regardless of the amount they have stolen or the amount of time since they have stolen. Time does not forgive sin, and the value of the item is irrelevant.
He will punish blasphemers, and will not hold those guiltless who misuse His name. His name is above all names, and should be given the utmost respect, but we often use it to express surprise or disgust.
He will punish adulterers, whether they have committed adultery in physical fact or in thought. God knows all thoughts, and our thoughts condemn us just as our actions do.
He will punish unbelievers, since His word says He has given ample evidence for His existence, and those who don’t believe are without excuse, and are choosing to suppress the truth of His existence.
1 Corinthians 6:9-10 - Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
Revelation 21:8 - But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death."
God is a God of justice, hell is a very real place, and His wrath against us is deserved.
If this were all God’s word tells us of Him, we would have every reason to despair. But it tells us much more.
The prophet Isaiah tells us that He is a God of steadfast love and compassion. It tells us He is might to save. He tells us that He is the only God, the only savior.
Time after time, in the history of Israel, he was compassionate and patient to Israel, taking them back after horrible disobedience. Have you tried to deny God, or been in despair, because you believed He could never forgive you? That is not true!
But how can God be a God of justice, making sure sin is punished, and at the same time be a God of mercy and compassion?
God showed the ultimate expression of both His justice and His mercy in the cross of Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ, God in human flesh, lived the only perfect life this world has ever seen. Then, He became the perfect sacrifice for sin.
Colossians 1:19-20 - For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
1 Thessalonians says Jesus Christ, who God raised from the dead, delivers us from the wrath to come.
God demonstrated His love in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us. And now He commands all men everywhere to repent.
Turn from your sin today, turn from your rebellion, and trust in Christ alone. Jesus Christ, the only true, living God, is your only means for forgiveness. He is the only way you can be made right with God.
God says He takes not pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that they turn and live. So turn today, and live! Come to Christ in humility, throw yourself upon His mercy, and be saved.