Dwelling in the Shelter of God

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say to the LORD, ‘My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.’ This psalm says that if you dwell in God’s shelter, you will abide in in the shadow of the Almighty. The point is that if you find rest and protection in God today, you will have his protection always. This reminds me of one of my favorite paintings. It’s a portrait of a person in a lighthouse that is surrounded by waves. As the waves are crashing around, the person is safe in the lighthouse. Oftentimes, we can find ourselves as Christians, in the midst of storms. Sometimes the storms seem insignificant. They could even be “storms” of prosperity that seek to get our mind off of God and onto our good circumstances. But we don’t know what the undertow is like.  Other times, the storms are painfully obvious. If we walked out of the Lighthouse, we’d be taken away. Yet, no matter what the storm, God is our refuge forever. He is worthy to be trusted. I don’t know where you are today or what struggles or joys you face, but our rest and hope aren’t in circumstances, our refuge is God. He is our security today and forever. Because of Jesus, all who trust in him are eternally secure in God’s trustworthy...

I can do all things?

If you were to overhear a conversation between me and someone else, and the other person was talking about having a headache that persisted the whole day – to which I responded, “That’s the worst” – you probably wouldn’t walk away from that conversation thinking, “Pastor Timothy thinks that’s the worst thing that could happen?! What if a family member died? What if he got into a car accident?” You wouldn’t think that way because you have a context to those words. You understand the tone of voice and you know how people can talk in our culture about those types of things. Context, Context, tone and language are very important, aren’t they? The same is true in the Bible. In this past week’s Fighter Verses, we have a verse that is probably one of the most misapplied verses in the Bible: “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” Can we do all things through Jesus? Can you fly? Can you lose 10 pounds? Can you increase your savings account? Is that what this verse is talking about? Well, let’s get the language. In the original Greek, verse 13 is simply “All I am able to in the One who strengthens me.” Translators in English put in the word “do.” But the context helps us to know that Paul is talking specifically about having contentment in any type of financial circumstance – plenty or hunger. This is the miracle. The miracle isn’t that God can increase your savings account. It’s that God can work in your heart in such ways that you don’t find contentment in cold,...

If anyone is in Christ, NEW CREATION!

Second Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” If you have a KJV or NKJV Bible translation, you’ll see that the phrase “he is a” in italics. The reason there are italics is because those words aren’t in the original Greek. A more literal translation would be: “if anyone is in Christ, new creation.” My question is why the translators decided to put it “he is a.” Many Christians use this verse to say that we personally and individually have changed from the inside-out. And while the Bible gives other verses saying that those who trust Jesus have been given new hearts to love and follow God, I don’t believe this verse is saying that. Instead, whenever the phrase “new creation” is used, it’s referring to something broader and bigger. And what Paul is saying here in 2 Corinthians 5 is that if you are in Christ, you are a part of something big. You are a part of the new creation! Think about that, Ventura. We humans long to be a part of something bigger than themselves. We want to know our lives matter and that we have greater hope. This verse shares that hope. If you are in Christ, you are a part of the new creation! All the bad, sad, wicked things are unraveling and becoming untrue. Someday, everything will be restored and made perfect, and in that new creation we are going to dwell with God – the eternal One. Even right now, you are a part of Jesus’ work...

The Final Days of Jesus: Sunday

Jesus’ death and resurrection were what all creation was yearning for. Before the foundation of the world, the plan of the cross was enacted. In Genesis 3, we’re told there would be one who would crush the serpent but that one would also be hurt. This “one” is Jesus, and when we get to the gospel writers, they spend a bulk of their writing focusing on the days preceding his death. What happened on each day preceding Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection? So, what happened the Sunday after Jesus’ death? Holy Week, Day 8: Resurrection Sunday Sunday, April 5, AD 33. The Final Days of Jesus: Resurrection Sunday from Crossway on...

The Final Days of Jesus: Saturday

Jesus’ death and resurrection were what all creation was yearning for. Before the foundation of the world, the plan of the cross was enacted. In Genesis 3, we’re told there would be one who would crush the serpent but that one would also be hurt. This “one” is Jesus, and when we get to the gospel writers, they spend a bulk of their writing focusing on the days preceding his death. What happened on each day preceding Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection? So, what happened the Saturday after Jesus’ death? Holy Week, Day 7: Saturday Saturday, April 4, AD 33. The Final Days of Jesus: Saturday from Crossway on...

The Final Days of Jesus: Friday

Jesus’ death and resurrection were what all creation was yearning for. Before the foundation of the world, the plan of the cross was enacted. In Genesis 3, we’re told there would be one who would crush the serpent but that one would also be hurt. This “one” is Jesus, and when we get to the gospel writers, they spend a bulk of their writing focusing on the days preceding his death. What happened on each day preceding Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection? So, what happened the day of Jesus’ death? Holy Week, Day 6: Friday Friday, April 3, AD 33. The Final Days of Jesus: Friday from Crossway on...

The Final Days of Jesus: Thursday

Jesus’ death and resurrection were what all creation was yearning for. Before the foundation of the world, the plan of the cross was enacted. In Genesis 3, we’re told there would be one who would crush the serpent but that one would also be hurt. This “one” is Jesus, and when we get to the gospel writers, they spend a bulk of their writing focusing on the days preceding his death. What happened on each day preceding Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection? So, what happened on the Thursday before Jesus’ crucifixion? Holy Week, Day 5: Thursday Thursday, April 2, AD 33. The Final Days of Jesus: Thursday from Crossway on...

The Final Days of Jesus: Wednesday

Jesus’ death and resurrection were what all creation was yearning for. Before the foundation of the world, the plan of the cross was enacted. In Genesis 3, we’re told there would be one who would crush the serpent but that one would also be hurt. This “one” is Jesus, and when we get to the gospel writers, they spend a bulk of their writing focusing on the days preceding his death. What happened on each day preceding Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection? So, what happened on the Wednesday before Jesus’ crucifixion? Holy Week, Day 4: Wednesday Wednesday, April 1, AD 33. The Final Days of Jesus: Wednesday from Crossway on...

The Final Days of Jesus: Tuesday

Jesus’ death and resurrection were what all creation was yearning for. Before the foundation of the world, the plan of the cross was enacted. In Genesis 3, we’re told there would be one who would crush the serpent but that one would also be hurt. This “one” is Jesus, and when we get to the gospel writers, they spend a bulk of their writing focusing on the days preceding his death. What happened on each day preceding Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection? So, what happened the Tuesday before his death? Holy Week, Day 3: Tuesday Tuesday, March 31, AD 33. The Final Days of Jesus: Tuesday from Crossway on...

The Final Days of Jesus: Monday

Jesus’ death and resurrection were what all creation was yearning for. Before the foundation of the world, the plan of the cross was enacted. In Genesis 3, we’re told there would be one who would crush the serpent but that one would also be hurt. This “one” is Jesus, and when we get to the gospel writers, they spend a bulk of their writing focusing on the days preceding his death. What happened on each day preceding Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection? So, what happened the Monday before his death? Holy Week, Day 2: Monday Monday, March 30, AD 33. The Final Days of Jesus: Monday from Crossway on...