Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Jesus had to be right to say He descended before He would ascend back into Heaven.  Of course, I would have to say Jesus was always right or there would be something wrong with my thinking.
The next thing was Jesus’ lesson to Nicodemus about that snake in the wilderness.  I find this symbolic of Jesus made sin for us (2Corinthians 5:21) that we might become His righteousness.  I am sure Nicodemus was set off when he saw Jesus on the cross.  Then he and Joseph of Arimathaea buried Him.
Then we have these well known words of Jesus in verses 16, 17, and 18 where the Son came that people would be saved.  Believing saves us, unbelief puts people under the wrath of God.  The same in verses 19-21, but there it is coming to the Light and the delight of coming to the Light or hating the Light.  That would be when darkness fills the heart so “light” cannot penetrate.  I want my heart to be filled with the light of Christ.
Written by Curt Darling

In these verses I find interesting thoughts.  First, the Passover was in  the beginning, a feast of Jehovah.  Here it was a feast of the Jews.  The very Person who the feast was about was now present.  He was appalled at what He found in the temple.  They were using it to sell animals for sacrifice. Making money in the House of the Lord. Jesus, in righteous anger, drove them out.  He called the Temple “My Father’s House”. It was just that.
The Jews ask for some sign that He did what He did.  Jesus said: Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.  He meant His body, but they used this as a reason to crucify Him.
I notice about Jesus not entrusting to men.  The phrase that He knew all men. A statement that could only be said about God.
The church is now the temple made up of living stones.  We must be careful not to misuse it for the purpose of just making money and ever misusing our own bodies in a way dishonoring to God.
Written by Curt Darling
Friday, October 5, 2018

In our verses John the Baptist is standing with two disciples. They see Jesus coming and John says, “Behold the Lamb of God.” Earlier John adds, “The Lamb who takes away the sin of the world.” In both instances John uses the word “behold” which means see and observe. It is one thing to look but does your look draw you to the object you are looking at? The two disciples left John and followed.  One was Andrew and I believe the other was John.
Jesus then asks them, “What do you seek?” They say, “Where are you dwelling?”  He, not John, is the object of their desire. That seemed to be true of me too in earlier days. Andrew goes and gets his brother Simon.  Jesus renames him Cephas translated “a stone”.
Slowly a small group is going to be formed which will follow Him through death to His ascension.  They will be the miraculous of the early Church however; not built on them, but Christ.  We also are part of that same church.
Written by Curt Darling

I find some interesting words here in verse 9.  First Christ is the true Light, and he gives that light to every man coming into the world.  Does that mean that there is a semblance of the light given to every man?  That takes away every excuse of every person.
Now we love that the world was made through Him, but they did not know Him.  He is said to give light to everyone coming into the world.  The only way to add this up is in Romans 1:19-20 where it says that God is open to all if they are interested in finding Him.
Now He (Christ) came to His own and they (the Jewish people) did not receive Him.   Then scripture says, “But as many as received Him… He gave the right to become children of God.”  That is for us if we want it.
Verse 13 speaks of our being born into the family of God.  There are three conditions that will not do.  Blood is our natural birth.  Our own thoughts can’t do it. A dynamic preacher or persuader can’t do it.  Only the Spirit of God can fill us with His light.  He can use men if they are willing to be used.     
Written by Pastor Curt Darling

I am supposing that this whole group of verses is God’s dealing with Egypt.  The reason is if it wasn’t’ for God we would think this preposterous. I would think men who don’t believe refuse to think this could even be real.
He (the psalmist) speaks of Moses and Aaron chosen to lead.  Remember Pharaoh saying, “Who is the LORD that I should obey Him?” He would soon find that out.
There were frogs, flies and lice and much more delivered at the voice of Moses, but it wasn’t Moses that did it but God.
Then the death of the firstborn made Pharaoh want to get rid of them.  It is not written here but Pharaoh perished when he tried to get them back.
Now I say is all this real? If it isn’t I will have wasted 64 years of my preaching life.  I thank God it is real and there is a reward for me at the end of my journey.
Written by Pastor Curt Darling

This psalm begins with the phrase give thanks.  I do believe we are too passive about that. Then we are to make known His deeds.  What do we know about what God has done? Are we willing to share about our own experiences with Him?
We have the word seek in the passage, “seek His strength and seek His face.” And this is interesting since God is invisible. Yet because of my walk with Him my imagination pictures Him with a pleasant face.
The psalmist wants people to remember God’s covenant with Abraham, then confirmed to Isaac and then to Jacob.  He didn’t permit any of the nations to do them wrong.  It says He rebuked kings for their sakes.
I wonder exactly what I am to conclude from these. I because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ am loved as much as they are, but do I love others as much as God loves me?
Written by Pastor Curt Darling

In verse 14 and as I look at creation there is some kind of purpose for everything in this world. We have grass for the cattle and vegetation for food for man.
Then there is wine to make glad the heart of man. Never mind whether it is fermented or not.  Men who preach love disagreed on that for years.  In days gone by there was use for modest use of fermented wine. Also olive oil to make men's faces shine.
Notice how many times God's name is used.  For instance the trees of the LORD full of sap. He planted them to be used according to their needs. The high hills for goats and cliffs for the rock badgers.
An interesting term of the appointment of the moon for season and darkness for night.  Sun rising brings day animals out and man to go forth to work and labor until evening.
​I have tried to observe the perfection of all this.  I then really think of the smallness of it all.  I then have to thing, "Who really am I?"
​Written by Pastor Curt Darling

In verse 2 there is a phrase which I will dwell on only for a moment, “That to contend with the Almighty”.  Since I am not anywhere near almighty it would be useless.  Yet if people don’t allow God to rule their lives they are doing just that. I see it all over our country and the world.
Jobs answer to it all is I am vile.  What shall I answer you? We have heard many arrogant things said about God.  Madeline Murray O’Hare said many things about God.  She was destroyed and we don’t even know how.  Her own son, Bill Murray became a preacher of the God she wanted to destroy.
The rest is more rebuke.  However I would like to dwell on verse 14. God tells Job, “Then I will confess that your own right hand can save you. Isaiah says in chapter 53:2 of Christ the arm (right hand) of God and He can save us.  I can’t do it myself.
Written by Pastor Curt Darling

Here in these verses Job is saying he would like to get with God to ask Him about why things were happening to him the way they were.  But then we have a profound statement from Job in verse 10. “But He knows the way that I take.” When He has tested me I shall come forth as gold.”  Gold tried in the fire is purified. Is this what Job meant? I think I have seen people (Christians) purified in that way.
The last thing I want to express is what Job says in verse 12. “I have not departed from the commandment of His (Gods) lips I have treasured the words of His mouth more that my necessary food.” I find that true in my own life.  There is a television program “My 600 lb Life” which is interesting but I stay away from it. It seems like eating is almost all they can do. Then the crisis comes and they must lose the weight.  God’s word should be like that to us.  We should love it and can’t get enough of it.
Written by Pastor Curt Darling

I am going to dwell on one phrase in this whole group of verses.  That is miserable comforters are you all. I don’t know whether there was just the three men or whether there were more which we would call bystanders. However three seemed to do all the accusing.  We do know a young man named Elisha who would talk later could have been there already.
A miserable comforter is a person who comes to someone who is really sick and doesn’t have a voice that heals the hurt.
I have been a visitation pastor for many years.  Do I always know what to say for someone who is hurting?  However in my experience I have found that I am to comfort not accuse.  Even when I know part of the trouble may have been due to life style choices of the person hurting. I have learned that it is better that they tell me what is wrong than me telling them.  Also I ask God how I should answer them.
Written by Pastor Curt Darling