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Wednesday, June 26, 2013

"On Mount Zion"

Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. Revelation 14:1 ESV
The vision of this verse is the victorious Lamb of God standing in the city of God with the saved. The names of Jesus and God written on their foreheads declares them as His possession.
When I read this verse I find great comfort in it. It tells me that I stand with the King. I have been bought with a price and am marked as His. Ephesians 1:13 speaks to this marking; In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit ESV The Holy Spirit is what signifies our belonging to Him.
We as followers of Jesus have our place assured. We need not worry about the things to come. We are marked as His. Our place awaits on mount Zion. We will be with Him some day.
So today, let’s live like we are already there. Let’s stand in His presence confident of our salvation, confident of our victory in Jesus.
© 2013 Leo J. Woodman

Friday, June 21, 2013

"The Corner Stone"

For it stands in Scripture: “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone, a cornerstone chosen and precious, and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”      1 Peter 2:6 ESV
Jesus is our cornerstone. He makes the foundation of His church true. Chosen and precious in the sight of God, He sets the direction for His church.  
The term cornerstone used to describe Jesus speaks to His perfect character. Just like a cornerstone in the foundation of a building must be square and true in order to have a square and strong foundation, Jesus is our spiritual cornerstone. He sets by His example, the true way in how His church should be built.
Jesus is the cornerstone and the apostles teachings are the base of the foundation of His church. Ephesians 4:20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, ESV As we are added to the church we are added to this great house. 1 Peter 2:5 you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. ESV
God chose Jesus as the one He would build His house on. We who believe have left all shame behind and now live in the family of God. With Christ as our cornerstone our spiritual House will stand for eternity.
So today, let’s trust in our foundation knowing that we stand on solid ground and have nothing to fear or worry about as long as we keep our place in this great spiritual house.

© 2013 Leo J. Woodman

Friday, June 14, 2013

"The City of the Living God"

But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, Hebrews 12:22 ESV
In Christ, our citizenship has changed. We are no longer citizens of the earth. We may live here, but this is not our home anymore. Our home is in Mount Zion, the city of God, the heavenly Jerusalem. Our citizenship is out of this world.
I love the visual of this verse. When I read this verse and think of my baptism, I see myself entering the gates of the Holy City, the heavenly Jerusalem. I see the heavenly host gathered and all the excitement of a street festival. Everyone overjoyed to be together in the presence of our God!
photo  ©2012  Ted Eytan, Flickr
I am also reminded of Luke 15:10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” ESV This verse tells me that when we come to Christ there is a great celebration in heaven. Our rebirth is celebrated! Our place in the city of the living God is assured.
So today, let’s enjoy the fact that we have a place in the heavenly Jerusalem. Let’s celebrate that fact by inviting someone else to join us there. We wouldn’t have problem inviting someone to a festival we’re going to, so let’s invite people to join us at the greatest festival of all. The heavenly one!
© 2013 Leo J. Woodman

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Be faithful

Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. 
Revelation 2:10b ESV
What a promise Jesus makes in this verse. All we have to do is be faithful to Him and we will receive eternal life. There is a small caveat though, “unto death” which means we must be faithful to Him for our entire life right up until the moment of our passing from this life.
As we begin our walk with Christ  this seems to be an easy promise to make. But, there are many temptations and frustrations that will come into our lives between the time we commit to Him and we leave this life.
Faithful unto death means we must trust in Him and follow Him inspite of whatever may come our way including severe persecution. Even the threat of death for our belief in Him should not deter us from keeping faithful to Him.
photo  ©2009  Becky Gregory, Flickr
Faithfulness in this world seems to be hard to come by. The norm for people today is; I will remain faithful in my promises until it becomes inconvenient or uncomfortable for me and then I’m gone. That is not the kind of faithfulness that Jesus will accept. He wants total commitment to Him like He has shown toward us, a willingness to die in order to do God’s will.
So today, let’s recommit to a faithful walk with Jesus. Let’s promise anew to be faithful to Him until death do us unite forever.
© 2013 Leo J. Woodman   

Friday, June 7, 2013

Continuing mission

And what I am doing I will continue to do, in order to undermine the claim of those who would like to claim that in their boasted mission they work on the same terms as we do. For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 2 Corinthians 11:12,13 ESV
Paul continued on the mission he had received from Jesus in spite of those that would spread false teachings concerning Jesus and His church. Paul always had the continuing mission in mind. Though he faced one obstacle after another he never gave up his mission.
We too need have the ethic that Paul did. The gospel needs to be preached in spite of any obstacle that may come our way. Most of us will not meet the persecution that Paul did, but we will have obstacles to overcome in our mission. Knowing the value of our mission and its end results, salvation of souls will give us the encouragement we need to face any and all obstacles with courage.
So today, let’s make up our minds to be like Paul and continue what we do for the Lord in spite adversaries. And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, Hebrews 10:24 ESV
© 2013 Leo J. Woodman

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

"The Mission"

For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.” Luke 19:10 ESV
This was Jesus mission. Who’s lost? All of humanity. Without God we are all lost. Jesus came to go to the lost and bring them back to God. He did just that with His sacrifice on the cross. But before going to the cross Jesus went to the lost wherever they were and told them how to come back.
Today that role falls to us as His disciples. We must go to where the lost are and tell them how they can come back to God. We have a mission and we must accept it. We must seek out the lost, so they can be saved.
photo  ©2012  Paul Gorbould, Flickr
As disciples of Christ we are to be mission minded. Jesus said He came to seek and save the lost. He is speaking of action. Jesus didn’t just go and sit at the temple and wait for people to come to Him, he went to them. To be on mission means to be on the move. The first century church grew because they sought out the lost. If we want to see growth today we need to seek the lost.
So today, let’s get mission minded and get moving. Let’s go out and seek those that need to hear the gospel message and share it with them. Only then will they have the chance to respond.

© 2013 Leo J. Woodman

Monday, June 3, 2013

"Let no one be deceived"

Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not become partners with them; for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. Ephesians 5:6-10 ESV
Paul starts this passage off with “Let no one deceive you”. It’s obvious from this statement that there were some that had been deceived in Ephesus. He wants his readers to recognize empty words when they hear them. We too must not be deceived by empty words.
One of the tell tale signs of someone that uses empty words to deceive is that they tend to use many words. Usually when someone wants to explain away the truth of God’s word they make long and lofty arguments for what they are trying to get across. The use of many words is done to put up a smokescreen to keep the hearer from truly hearing the underlying message.
We that no longer walk in the darkness must seek to shed light on false teaching whenever we hear it. So we must know the word of God and what is good, right and true so we will know when someone is trying teach us something that is none of those.
photo  ©2004  Tony Hisgett, Flickr
We are children of light and have no place in darkness. So today, let’s examine all that we hear in the light of God’s Word to be pleasing in God’s sight.
© 2013 Leo J. Woodman