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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Save us Lord we are perishing

And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, "Save us, Lord; we are perishing." And he said to them, "Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?" Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. Matthew 8:24-26 ESV

I thought of this passage yesterday when the hurricane was approaching. I wondered how many people were praying in this manner yesterday and yet had not chosen to speak to the Lord at all the day before.

Looking at the passage above we see Jesus disciples panic when the weather changed suddenly. They want to be saved, but prior to that they had smooth sailing and hadn't engaged the Lord. They were doing their thing and the Lord was doing His. But, when things got rough they decided to go to Him.

When they cried for help the Lord responded and handled the situation. Before doing that, He asked them “why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Why is it that we Christians respond to the storms of life the same way the Apostles did? Because we like them, aren't truly trusting in the one that controls everything. We see circumstances and panic rather than trust in the Lord to see us through.

If you prayed like this yesterday as the storm approached, learn from this passage and trust in the Lord to see you through. Have faith, pray with confidence that the Lord is in control and trust yourself in His hands.

Remember whether it be stormy weather or the storms of life our Lord is in charge. Every storm ends and the sun will shine again. Engage the Lord every day, go to Him before panic sets in.

© Leo J. Woodman

Review of Unclean

Monday, October 29, 2012

Book review
"Muscle and a Shovel". Really enjoyed this book. This book is a great resource for those seeking biblical truths. I will be giving this book as a gift.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Birth of Jesus Foretold

Today we will be discussing Luke 1:26-38, the birth of Jesus foretold.

In verse twenty six Luke is careful to point out that it was in the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy that “the angel Gabriel was sent from God” to Nazareth. Luke wants his readers to know that the events he is about to share were prompted by God Himself.

Gabriel is sent to speak to a virgin, engaged to a man by the name of Joseph. Luke again shares some Jewish genealogy when he writes, “Joseph of the house of David”. This is significant because of, what was told to King David by Nathan the prophet.

Read 2nd Samuel 7:5-17. This is a Messianic prophecy concerning Jesus. So, when Luke makes mention of Joseph's ancestry it is for good reason. He is letting the reader know that the birth of Jesus is going to be prophecy fulfilled.

Verses 28-33 recounts the proclamation of Gabriel to Mary, where Gabriel tells her she will have a son and what he will be named. Luke quotes Gabriel as he tells Mary, that prophecy will be fulfilled in the statement he makes in verses 32-33. Gabriel says that Jesus will receive “the throne of his father David”ESV and that His kingdom will be eternal. So, Joseph's ancestry is very significant isn't it? Even though Joseph will not be the biological father of Jesus, Jesus will be born into the line of David. (we'll look at this more in later comments)

Mary's reaction is one of questioning, not a lack of faith, like we saw with Zechariah. She simply asks “how will this be, since I am a virgin?”ESV The angel answers her question in verses 35-37. "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy--the Son of God. And behold, your relative Elizabeth in her old age has also conceived a son, and this is the sixth month with her who was called barren. For nothing will be impossible with God." ESV Did you notice Gabriel throws in the fact that Elizabeth as an old woman is going to have a baby? I think he says this to show that God can do anything He wants, He is not limited by biology. What a powerful God we have!

Mary responds to Gabriel in absolute faith. "Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word." ESV She welcomes the blessing God has chosen to bestow upon her. Think of her faith. A young virgin, already engaged is told she will become pregnant and give birth to the Son of God. God can do incredible things through the lives of faithful people.

The passage that we looked at today shows us that God keeps his promises and that the birth of Jesus was always planned for. Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.Isaiah 7:14 ESV Luke recounts the moment in time when God was fulfilling His promise.

Tomorrow we will go over verses 39-45 of Luke chapter one when Mary visits Elizabeth.

© 2012 Leo J. Woodman

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The birth of John the Baptist foretold

 Today we will be looking at verses 5 through 25 of Luke chapter one, these verses speak about the birth of John the Baptist.

It is obvious in this passage that Luke did his homework concerning the religious history and traditions of the Jews. Luke had quite an understanding of the Aaronic priesthood. He made note of couple of significant facts; there was a priest named Zechariah, of the division of Abijah. And he had a wife from the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth. Luke 1:5 ESV See Chronicles 24:1-10 and Exodus 6:23-25. The average Greek would not have known the genealogical history and significance of Zechariah and Elizabeth. But Luke took the time to research it and present it in his account.

Luke also makes the point that they were both righteous before God. He also points out that Elizabeth was unable to have children and that she and Zechariah were elderly. Luke then lets us know that it was during Zechariah's service to God, that God sent an angel with some incredible news. (Verses 8-13) They were going to have a son! In verses 14-17 the angel explains that there are great things that will come from the birth of this son.

Even though an angel of God stands before him making this proclamation, Zechariah doubts. He basically says to the angel; we are old, how could this happen? The angel Gabriel responds to his doubt by making him mute until the prophecy was fulfilled.

Luke then tells us in verses 24 and 25 that just as the angel said would happen, Elizabeth did become pregnant. But, she kept it quiet for five months.

As we look back over these verses we can see that God used His system of the priesthood and ancestral lines to bring about His will. To bring forth the prophet that would prepare the people for their long awaited Messiah.

Luke wants his readers to understand that God had been planning for the birth of Jesus all the way back when he established the Aaronic priesthood in the wilderness wanderings of the exodus. Isn't it interesting that God uses a non-Jew to point this out?

Tomorrow we look at the foretelling of the birth of Jesus. Luke 1:26-38

© 2012 Leo J. Woodman

Please keep praying

The Gospel Beacon is being read in:  

The United States, Russia, Germany, Philippines, United 
Kingdom, Malaysia, Panama, Singapore, Costa Rica, Latvia, Australia, Canada, Spain, Belgium, Ukraine, China, Colombia, Taiwan, Japan, Jordan, Hong Kong, Denmark, France, Ghana and Romania

Please keep praying for this effort.

Monday, October 22, 2012

The Gospel According to Luke 1:1-4

The Introduction of the Gospel of Luke

After reading chapter one, verses one through four we see that Luke is acknowledging the fact that many had already taken on the task of compiling the events of Jesus ministry. They had already chronicled the eyewitness accounts of the Apostles. But Luke felt it was good for him to write down his account of what he himself had learned concerning Jesus and His ministry.

Luke mentions that he had been following the events closely for some time and wanted to write an orderly account of the things that had been taught concerning Jesus. Luke's gospel account is written so that the reader will know for certain the things that they had been taught.

As we progress in our study of the gospel of Luke we will see that Luke does give a very orderly account. Luke did his research thoroughly before putting pen to paper. Luke did not produce a gospel that came from a biased perspective but one that came from careful study of the evidence concerning Jesus life and ministry.

Read Luke 1:5-80 today, and tomorrow we will cover what Luke writes concerning the birth of John the Baptist and the angelic announcement of the conception of Jesus the Messiah.

© 2012 Leo J. Woodman

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Gospel According to Luke

 The Gospel According to Luke

Beginning today I will be commenting on the Gospel According to Luke.

The Gospel According to Luke is unique, in that it is written by a Greek physician who was a colleague of the Apostle Paul. Luke was not one of the original Apostles that Jesus had chosen to carry on the Gospel message. Yet, God chose him to write a Gospel for the world to read. A Gospel written from his unique perspective.

Luke's gospel is written in letter format, addressed to “Most excellent TheophilusESV. There is some debate as to whether or not it was written to an individual named Theophilus, or simply to any lover of God. The name Theophilus means, lover of God. Either way Luke's intent was to “write an orderly account”ESV of the life and ministry of Jesus the Christ.

Luke's Gospel account was most likely written in the early 60”s AD. At which time the New Testament church would have been about 30 years old. The Gospel According to Luke is one of two New Testament books written by Luke, the other is the Acts of The Apostles written during the same time period as his Gospel. Luke really is the, New Testament historian.

As we go through his Gospel we will see just how thorough and analytical he is in his approach to sharing the Gospel. It will become obvious that God chose Luke to produce a work that would come from a gentile perspective. The term gentile means someone that is not of Jewish ancestry. Being a Greek and highly educated man gave Luke's writing had a certain appeal to those that had not converted from Judaism.

It is awesome to see how God uses the personalty and ethnicity of people in bringing His WORD to the world. As we progress in our study we will see just how multifaceted Luke's approach is.

Read Luke 1:1-4, tomorrow I will be commenting on the introduction of the Gospel. 

© 2012 Leo J. Woodman

Monday, October 15, 2012

He bore the sins of many

 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors.
Isaiah 53:12 ESV

In this final verse of Isaiah 53 Jesus is referred to as one that makes intercession for the transgressors (sinners). In other words Jesus in His sacrifice took care of our sins for us. He interceded on our behalf.

Many years later the apostle John writes in one of his letters to the church that Jesus is still our advocate when we sin. An advocate is one that pleads the case of another. John said this; My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.1 John 2:1 ESV This verse speaks to the fact that Jesus' sacrifice was truly a once for all sacrifice for sin. John is addressing Christians in this letter, those that had already been forgiven in baptism into Christ. Yet, John wants his readers to know that even as Christians we will and do sin and that Jesus still is working on our behalf to clear our record with our heavenly Father.

As we look back over the 53rd chapter of Isaiah we can see God's plan of salvation worked out in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. It was God's will to save us through Jesus faithfulness and righteousness. Jesus died for our sins so we don't have to. Isaiah prophesied this generations before Jesus was born of a virgin.

Here we are in the 21st century reading this prophecy, having looked at where this prophecy was fulfilled in the New Testament writings. We are truly blessed by God's word and its availability to us today. We have everything we need to know about salvation and christian living, right there between the covers of our bible. As the apostle Paul said in 2 Timothy 3:16,17 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.ESV

Read your bible daily and absorb all that the Lord has for you.

© 2012 Leo J. Woodman

Yesterday's Sermon

Yesterday's Sermon "Poverty and Wealth" has been posted.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Accounted righteous

 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied; by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant, make many to be accounted righteous, and he shall bear their iniquities.
Isaiah 53:11 ESV

The last half of this verse is significant to the prophecy, it speaks to the fact that Jesus sacrifice would serve to bring many to a faith in Him because of His sacrifice. In His sacrifice He bore our sins and when we come to that realization and obey His command and act on our faith it will be accounted to us as righteousness.

Did you notice I said act on our faith? Simple belief is not enough, we must act on our faith. Jesus gave a command concerning being one of His disciples before He went to the cross. Read Matthew 28:18-20 in order to follow Christ we must be baptized in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Peter repeats the need for baptism, for the forgiveness of sins in Acts 2:38. Simple belief is not sufficient to be counted righteous.

James 2:19 says this; Even the demons believe--and shudder!ESV We know they believed in Jesus and knew His mission yet they were not saved by His sacrifice. Here are several verses where demons acknowledge who Jesus is: Mark 3:11, Luke 4:34,41

Would anyone dare to claim that the demons have salvation in Jesus simply because they believe? No, of course not. One must be obedient to God's will, and we know demons are not obedient to His will. So, belief is not enough. Read the gospels and see how often Jesus speaks of obedience to His Father in heaven and His will. There must be a reason He speaks of it so often.

Jesus died on the cross so many could be accounted righteous. Don't you want to be accounted righteous? Read Romans chapter 4. If we believe in Jesus and obey His commands; It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. Romans 4:24b & 25 ESV

© 2012 Leo J. Woodman

Thursday, October 11, 2012

It was the will of the LORD

 Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
Isaiah 53:10 ESV

When I read this verse I am taken back to the scene in the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus praying to His Father in heaven to let the cup pass from Him. And going a little farther he fell on his face and prayed, saying, "My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will." Matthew 26:29 ESV Jesus understood that it was the Father's will that He go to the cross for our sins. In the garden the human side of Jesus asks for a way out, but the will of His heavenly Father and the salvation of humanity drove Him to say; nevertheless, not as I will, but as you will. Once again the prophecy of Isaiah is fulfilled in Christ.

God loves us so much that when His only begotten Son asked to be released from His mission, the answer was no. Jesus had to suffer as our guilt offering to pay for our sins. But, as the scriptures tell us that was not the end of the matter. Jesus was resurrected on the third day following His death on the cross. He is now seated at the right hand of God in Glory. But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God Hebrews 10:12 ESV Because of His death, burial and resurrection we can have forgiveness for our sins and eternal life in heaven.

The will of the LORD did prosper in the hands of Jesus. Jesus' once for all sacrifice, reconciled us with God. For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.Romans 5:10 ESV As the apostle Paul, said Jesus took care of our sin debt while we were still estranged from God.

If you are in Christ because you have been obedient to the gospel, you have realized this reconciliation. If you have not been obedient to the gospel, you are still enemy of God.
Read Acts 2:14-47; judge for yourself whether or not you have been obedient to the gospel, then you will know where you stand with God.

© 2012 Leo J. Woodman

Keep praying

"The Gospel Beacon" is being read in: the United States, Russia, Germany, Philippines, United Kingdom, Malaysia, Panama, Singapore, Costa Rica, Latvia, Australia, Canada, Spain, Belgium, Ukraine, China, Colombia, Taiwan, Japan, Jordan, Hong Kong, Denmark and France. Please keep praying for this effort.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

They made His grave with the wicked

-->And they made his grave with the wicked and with a rich man in his death, although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.
Isaiah 53:9 ESV

Isaiah chapter 53 is an amazing chapter in the Bible when you think of it in the context of prophecy fulfilled. Everything that is foretold in Isaiah 53 is fulfilled in the Gospel accounts of the trial, scourging , crucifixion and death of Jesus.

Jesus was crucified with two robbers as you can read in Matt. 27:38, Mark 15:27 & John 19:18. All three accounts prove the prophecy of Isaiah 53 to be true. Jesus grave was with the wicked when he died, He died on the cross with two robbers. They deserved their fate, He did not. He died that we may live.

The above verse also says that Jesus would be with a rich man in death. Matthew 27:57-60 shows how this was fulfilled in Joseph of Arimathea (a rich man) asking for Jesus body and burying Him in the tomb he had dug for himself. This is also chronicled in Mark 15:43-46, Luke 23:50-53 & John 19:38-42.

The Gospels give more than one witness of the events surrounding the death and burial of Jesus. In a court of law this would be sufficient evidence to prove that this event did occur. The Bible always proves itself to be true and trustworthy.

Through Isaiah, God told the world what would happen when Jesus came to the world and sacrificed Himself . The Gospel accounts prove that the prophecy to be true.

Jesus died with the guilty, for the guilty “although he had done no violence, and there was no deceit in his mouth.” He sacrificed Himself for our sins.

God made a promise through Isaiah and kept in Jesus sacrifice.

© 2012 Leo J. Woodman

Friday, October 5, 2012

“Stricken for the transgression of my people”

 By oppression and judgment he was taken away; and as for his generation, who considered that he was cut off out of the land of the living, stricken for the transgression of my people?
Isaiah 53:8 ESV

Stricken for the transgression of my people”

Transgression: a violation of law, command or duty; sin

The prophecy of Isaiah is; the punishment that Jesus endured, the trial, the scourging and crucifixion was not due Him. It was the punishment that should have been imposed on all transgressors (sinners).

In verse eight the term “my people” is used. While it refers to Israel, it also refers to all people. Because we are all created in His image (Genesis 1:27).

In other words Jesus death on the cross was the punishment we deserve for our sins. He was crucified to pay for our violation of God's Laws and commands.

In Christ we have been given a reprieve, a pardon from the death sentence imposed on us for our crimes against God. The giver of the Law (John 1:1) that convicts us, stepped in so we could have one more chance. A chance for life eternal with God. He took our place that day at Calvary. He took our place, so we could have a place in heaven for eternity.

He has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him, Col. 1:22 ESV Jesus did what He did so we can be presented to God as blameless. He did what he did so we could be reconciled with our creator. (Genesis 1:27)

We can be reconciled with God if we obey the Gospel (good news); the gospel is the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus the Christ.

Read Romans 6:1-10, have you obeyed the Gospel and received your pardon for the transgressions you have committed?

© 2012 Leo J. Woodman

Thursday, October 4, 2012

He opened not his mouth

 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth.
Isaiah 53:7 ESV

When we read in the Gospels about the trial of Jesus and His crucifixion, we are seeing this prophecy fulfilled.

Jesus didn't fuss, fight or complain when he was falsely accused. He only agreed with the statements made about His identity.

Once he was arrested He didn't try to get out of it. He didn't place the blame on anyone else either. He stood and took the punishment we deserved. He was obedient to God, for it was God's will that He would suffer for us.

We have a savior that was willing to shoulder our sin responsibilities for us.

Thinks of the love He has for humanity. Most of us wouldn't even be willing to pay off someone else's financial debt, but Jesus is willing to pay off our sin debt. He went through His trail, scourging and crucifixion to pay the debt we could not pay.

Read Luke 7:41-43, Jesus teaches Simon about having debt forgiven. When we realize just how much we owed, we can't help but stand in awe of Jesus love for us.

Have you had your sin debt cancelled?

© 2012 Leo J. Woodman

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

We all like sheep have gone astray

 All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned--every one--to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.
Isaiah 53:6 ESV

We have all wondered away from God and His way. We have all experienced the way of pain and misery that the absence of God in our lives causes.

Our wondering and wastefulness caused God to lay our sin burden upon His own Son.

Many times the illustration of sheep is used in the bible to describe our mentality as lost souls and our need for a shepherd. Jesus even calls Himself “the Good Shepherd that lays down His life for the sheep.”(John 10:11 ESV) He uses this illustration to tell His listeners that he is the one, that can and will lead them in the direction of God's way.

So, when Isaiah says that “the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all” he saying that in Jesus sacrifice we are set back on the right path, if we follow Him. But we have to be willing to follow Him.

Your sin burden was taken care of in Jesus sacrifice on the cross, are you following the Good Shepherd?

© 2012 Leo J. Woodman

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

With His stripes we are healed

-->But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.
Isaiah 53:5

Verse five explains exactly what Jesus did for all of us.

He was wounded for our sins, the beating He took was ours.

The crucifixion was for our sins against God.

Our sins were on His back as He was whipped. All this was endured in order to bring peace between us and God.

We, were healed by the tearing of His flesh.

The innocent being abused and executed on behalf of the guilty.

We have been made whole by His sacrifice.

For the death he died he died to sin, once for all” Romans 6:10a ESV

What a loving savior we have, willing to go through all of that to save us from our sins.

Doesn't He deserve our unwavering devotion and loyalty?

Text © 2012 Leo J. Woodman

Monday, October 1, 2012

Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows

 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.
Isaiah 53:4


Isaiah is speaking in the past-tense in verse four. Verse four is an affirmation of what Jesus did for all humanity. He carried all the grief and sorrow, that all of our sins had caused. He carried them to the cross for us.

Speaking in context of the day of jesus crucifixion; the world considered Him to be a sinful man, because of the death He suffered on the cross. They believed He suffered on the cross for the claims He made about Himself. They believed that God was striking Him down for blasphemy, for claiming to be the Son of God and forgiving sins.

Look at the total disrespect they had for the savior as He was hanging on the cross.

"He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.” Matthew 27:42 ESV

They had no idea what was happening before their eyes. The God of the universe was hanging on the cross for their sins.

Little did they know He was taking care of the sin burden of everyone that had ever lived or would live. He was making a “Once for All” sacrifice for those that caused His death on the cross.

Without a doubt he has “borne our griefs and carried our sorrows”.

Have you given your burdens over to Him and had your sins washed away in baptism? He is willing to shoulder those burdens for you. As Ananias said to Saul; And now why do you wait? Rise and be baptized and wash away your sins, calling on his name.”Acts 22:16 ESV What are you waiting for?

© 2012 Leo J. Woodman