Sunday, April 24, 2011

April 24 (John 20:28)

And Thomas answered and said unto him, My LORD and my God. (KJV)
Christ the Lord is risen today! Alleluia! Easter is a day of celebration. It is time for dancing in the streets as David did before the Ark of the Covenant. Our sins have been forgiven and death itself has been conquered. We should arise with the sun and wear ourselves out until sunset with praise and celebration of Jesus.

We must also remember that this act of triumph over death was the act of our Lord and our God. Just how mighty must He be to reverse the irreversible? Just how powerful must He be to die, preach to those who were already dead (see 1 Peter 3:18-20), and ascend, first to earth and then to the right hand of His Father in heaven? As surely as our Lord was fully God and fully man, so our celebration and joy must also be humble and full of awe. There was never before a god like our God. There is not now and there never will be again. He Who created nature has reversed its laws for our sake. This is the God Who calls us to be His friends.

Copyright © 2011 by Steven R. Perkins

Sunday, April 17, 2011

April 17 (Romans 5:8)

But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (KJV)
It is quite easy to believe that when we sin, God will not love us. This reaction is written deeply into the human heart. A young child will burst into tears over a broken cookie jar, and adults will wonder why the extravagant reaction. Deep inside, the child knows he has done something wrong, something against the will of parents who love him, and now that love may be at risk.

This reaction does not go away, even for the mature Christian. Having lived in good relationship with God for a period of time, we suddenly stumble into sin. Suddenly we become the child with the cookie jar. We love our Lord so much and are, rightly, crushed that we have sinned yet again. Yet we must remember this powerful verse. We were sinners when Christ died for us. We never did do anything to earn His love and grace and were actually His enemies through sin when He reached out to us.

And the love and grace of Cavalry have not changed.

O Lord, my God, forgive me my sins, for I have continued to sin against You not only in what I do that I should not, but in what I fail to do that I ought. Help me to know Your grace and restore me to a right relationship with You. In the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son, my Savior, amen.

Copyright © 2011 by Steven R. Perkins

Sunday, April 10, 2011

April 10 (Psalm 44:1)

We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days, in the times of old. (KJV)

Do the stories of the Bible form the weave for the narrative of your life? Do the events of the Israelites or the episodes in the life of Jesus come to your mind and your lips as you think and talk about your own life? In order to understand something, we relate it to something else that we know. To what do you relate the circumstances of daily living? The Bible is our story, from the description of the Israelite exodus out of Egypt to the lives of the early Christians in Acts.

Yet it is not just for ourselves that we relate our lives to those of our biblical ancestors. We must do so as a way of preserving those stories and making them part of the living heritage of the next generation. We exert a small, but important influence on everyone with whom we come into contact. When our friends and relatives hear the biblical foundation in our casual speech, they begin to absorb the biblical worldview.

Of course, having the biblical stories as the foundation of our lives can only happen when we know those stories. Put aside the study guides and extra books for a moment and delve back into the Bible itself. Read the stories straight through as you would any other story. In the stories of our biblical ancestors you will find your story as well.

Father, it is so easy for me to relate my life to nothing more than my own preferences. Help me to develop a more historic and faithful view of life. Help me to see where my life fits into the grand story that You have been telling since Adam. In the name of Christ Jesus, my Lord, amen.

Copyright © 2011 by Steven R. Perkins

Sunday, April 3, 2011

April 3 (John 8:58)

Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. (KJV)

Our fourth-grade son’s small group at church recently began a lesson on the divinity of Jesus. I asked them whether, upon discovering that I was actually the President of the United States, a king, or the richest man in the world, they would treat me differently. They immediately agreed that they would.

Jesus is indeed our friend (John 15:15) and a great teacher (John 13:13), and we will relate to Him in certain ways because He is those things. Yet if we do not grasp fully His divinity, then we run the dangerous risks of blasphemy and error. Failing to acknowledge the divinity of Christ keeps some from centering their lives around Him and giving Him the glory that is His due. It also leaves them open to embracing other beliefs, as if all religions were the same. Many religions teach similar principles, but the distinguishing tenets of Christianity stand on one fundamental truth, that Jesus is God. With this in mind, hear again the words of Jesus to His disciples.

But whom say ye that I am? (Matthew 16:15)

O Lord, my God, may my life ever be one of humble adoration before You. May I never lose sight of Who You are, the God of all Who humbled Himself to take on flesh and die in my place. Help me to live in a right relationship with You and thereby live in a right relationship with the world. In the name of Jesus Christ, Who with the Father and the Holy Spirit reigns as one God, forever and ever, amen.

Copyright © 2011 by Steven R. Perkins