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Archive for December, 2015

Day 80: The Paradigm of a Child

Posted by undergroundchurch on December 31, 2015


Scriptural Nuggets Daily DevotionScriptural Nuggets Daily Devotion

 

There are many models that illustrate our relationship with God.

Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 18:4

Children, especially young ones, are very trusting, dependent and full of faith. To a 5 year old, anything is possible. A stick can become a light-saber, a box becomes a rocket ship. I know of Fortune 500 companies that bring in 2-5 year olds to help them think outside the box when they want an innovative solution.

But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” – Matthew 19:14

God is very serious when it comes to children. He held nations accountable for not taking care of the widows and the orphans. He charged his church with this very task too calling it “pure religion” (James 1:27)

But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name – John 1:12

We are made children of God when we receive Christ. This paradigm means that like Christ, who was made the Son of God, we are also sons and daughters of God who will one day take part in the same inheritance that Jesus has been given. (Romans 8:16,17)

We are called to be obedient children and reflect the light of Christ in and through our lives.

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Day 79: The Paradigm of a Sheep

Posted by undergroundchurch on December 30, 2015


Scriptural Nuggets Daily DevotionScriptural Nuggets Daily Devotion

There are many models or paradigms in the Bible the illustrate our relationship with God.

Sheep are dumb.

This may seem a bit strong, but it perfectly illustrates us. The wisest wisdom of man can even match the foolish thoughts of God. (1 Cor 1:25).

We are the sheep in the picture throughout the Bible. They get lost, they need a leader that is not another sheep. They need help finding food and water, keeping their hair trimmed.

Sheep need a leader that’s not another sheep

If left to their own devices and follow a sheep-leader, sheep will wander until they all fall off a cliff or get eaten by a wolf. Sheep need a shepherd. Shepherds are a different class of animal that can intercede, protect, shear, feed and house sheep.

Sheep are highly dependent on a shepherd. King David even wrote Psalm 23 about the relationship a sheep has with a “good” shepherd.

A PSALM OF DAVID. Sheep are dependent upon a Good Shepherd

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
forever. — Ps 23

The Good Shepherd

Jesus tells us that He is the only Good shepherd and that he loves his sheep and his sheep hear his voice. The Good shepherd laid his life down for his sheep. It’s awesome to trust in a shepherd who loves us like that.

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Day 78: Advocacy

Posted by undergroundchurch on December 29, 2015


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30 years ago I stood before a judge in a traffic court. The court appointed attorney suggested that I just plead “no contest”, which he said was not the same as guilty, but since the evidence was overwhelming against me, I shouldn’t plead “not guilty” and potentially raise the penalty. Some have suggested I should have pleaded not guilty by reasons of insanity since I could have proved that much easier.

My counsel was not the best advocate for my side. He didn’t really fight for me or defend me or even speak for me. He just suggested a course of action and left it to me to say the words.

We all make mistakes, and often times, those mistakes are sins. John wrote a letter to his people that says,

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 (that is the judge), Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation (that is appeasement, which produces favor) for our sin, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. – 1 John 2:2,3

Wow! What an advocate. He isn’t just sitting there recommending that you plead no contest or not guilty by reason of insanity, but he actually stands in your place and gaims favor with the judge. He has all the influence needed to plead your case as “not guilty” and then win the argument.

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Day 77: The Paradigm of Slavery

Posted by undergroundchurch on December 28, 2015


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Forced Slavery is a horrid practice. It has taken so many forms through the centuries, but has a basic objective – strip another of their rights, make them obey your every command, restrict their every move and force them to depend upon the master.

Whether sLavern is a result of an invading army’s action or a government’s will or by a kidnapper’s hand, forced slavery is cruel, evil demeaning and tyrannical. There is never an excuse for it.

Notice the verbs “Strip, Make, restrict, force”. These are verbs void of love, compassion and mercy. But what if I take those verbs and transform them, “Freely give up my rights. Willingly obey your every command. Lovingly surrender my will. Trust and depend on my master.” This transforms the concept from something that man has corrupted into something that God has designed.

In the Bible, there is no word to differentiate between slave and servant. It is the same word and is the word literally translated “slave”. It is the most all encompassing word to describe a Christian.

In Bible times, slaves often were endentured and the result of a debt or some other obligation that put them in a “temporary” position that required them to become a slave. Some masters, though, actually were good people and treated their slaves with kindness. At the end of their slave’s term, the slave had two options – leave or stay. If they did choose to stay, they would take an awl and hammer and stand at the doorpost where the master would punch a hole in their ear indicating that they were no longer and endentured slave, but a servant bound by love. A willing slave. It is this picture that God uses to present himself to to us.

Everyone of us is born into slavery – Slavery to sin and this world and its ways. And no matter what we do, we will always serve somebody. But God offers us the opportunity to willingly change masters to one that loves you so much that he was willing to die that we might be free. That we could come into his house, surrender our selfish will to his perfect will. Release our cares upon him, trust in his love, hope in an eternity with him and allow him to be our shelter, strength and strong tower.

He won’t force us. It is completely our free will to choose him as master or remain an endentured slave to this world. But to be a slave of God, we must give up all of our rights. In fact, a true follower of Christ has no rights of their own.

Yes, I am a slave, no longer to this world, but a willing slave to a loving God. I am truly blessed to be a servant household of a loving God.

 

 

 

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