Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The First Astronaut

~ Enoch ~  

Enoch, who was a “type” of the church, was the first astronaut—he made a non-stop trip to heaven. One day Jesus Christ will return a second time to take away His church, His bride to be with Him forever. This typical aspect of Enoch is not the only interesting aspect of the Biblical account of Enoch. He was a fascinating Biblical character in other ways. Consider three main aspects of Enoch’s life. 

His FAITH in God  ~  Enoch possessed a consistent PURPOSE in his life and as a result the Hebrew writer tells us that he pleased God. By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, ‘and was not found, because God had taken him’; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He rewards those who diligently seek Him” (Hebrews 11:5-6). He was determined to obey God, regardless of cost, and as a result he achieved his life purpose. And because of his faith and obedience he experienced a TRANSFORMATION of his life.    

His WALK with God  ~  Enoch understood the PATH in which he should go and he walked with God. A path implies a beginning and an end. “Enoch walked steadily with God. And then one day he was simply gone: God took him” (Genesis 5:24). The fact that Enoch walked steadily with God implies certain things. First, it implies a harmony or agreement with God. Second, increasing intimacy occurs the longer you walk together with another. Third, there was a consistency which implies he neither ran ahead of God nor lagged behind. Finally a walk with God provides safety in the form of both shelter and protection. Enoch experienced a TRANSLATION as God took him directly to heaven. 

His TESTIMONY for God  ~  Enoch was a PROPHET who gave an amazing prediction. Now Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men also, saying, ‘Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of His saints, to execute judgment on all, to convict all who are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have committed in an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things which ungodly sinners have spoken against Him’” (Jude 14-15). Enoch was the first prophet and he prophesied about the Lord’s coming. His prophecy was one of coming CONDEMNATION for those sinners who have not accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.     

CONTEMPLATE:  How is your current walk with God?

~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Messiah, 73

~ Messiah Would Be Betrayed By A Friend ~

“Search the Scriptures—they testify of Me.”
— Jesus Christ (John 5:39)

The Scripture
Even My own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate My bread, has lifted up his heel against Me” (Psalm 41:9).

The Messiah  
Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, ‘What are you willing to give me if I deliver Him to you?’ And they counted out to him thirty pieces of silver. So from that time he sought opportunity to betray Him” (Matthew 26:14-16). 

Now His betrayer had given them a sign, saying, ‘Whomever I kiss, He is the One; seize Him.’ Immediately he went up to Jesus and said, ‘Greetings, Rabbi!’ and kissed Him. But Jesus said to him, ‘Friend, why have you come?’” (Matthew 26:48-50).

And while He was still speaking, behold, a multitude; and he who was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them and drew near to Jesus to kiss Him. But Jesus said to him, ‘Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?’” (Luke 22:47-48).

(1)  Each Saturday ALN posts an example of a Hebrew Scriptures prophecy (or foreshadowing) related to the coming Messiah which was fulfilled in the birth, life, death, or resurrection of Jesus Christ.
(2)  While extensive it will not be a complete list—there are hundreds of prophecies of the coming Messiah which have been fulfilled by one man—Jesus Christ at His First Coming.
(3)  It is important that there are many more prophecies of the Messiah, yet unfulfilled, which Christians believe will be fulfilled at the time of His Second Coming.  A particularly relevant Scripture verse in this regard is: “Do not despise prophesies” (1 Thessalonians 5:20).
(4)  These posts will typically consist only of Scripture—which speaks for itself.  Sometimes italicized or bold font will be used by ALN for emphasis.
(5)  The numbering of these fulfilled prophecies of the Messiah is used to differentiate individual posts. It is not chronological (either by time of the prophecy or by sequence in the life of the Messiah).  The posting sequence will, for the most part, be in the order that the prophecies appear in Scripture.
(6)  Because of the chosen methodology (#5 above) we will find many specific prophecies repeated multiple times throughout the Scriptures.
(7)  These serial posts are in addition to our regular Tuesday ALN postings on random topics.
(8)  Subscription to ABUNDANT LIFE NOW blog is simple—just use the link on the left sidebar.  Once subscribed you will not miss future posts.

~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Extra: Contest Winners

~ The Winners Are… ~             

 Publish His glorious deeds among the nations.
Tell everyone about the amazing things He does.”
~ PSALM 96:3, NLT ~

On October 21st Abundant Life Now announced a book giveaway. We received a number of good entries. Thank you to all blog readers who entered the contest—I wish we could send all of you the book of your choice. The decision was hard—all entrants deserve to win—in the end we decided to give away two books.

Congratulations to Cherie D. who chose to receive a copy of “THY WILL BE DONE ON EARTH: Understanding God’s Will for You.” Like so many she indicated that at times she struggles with making good decisions. 

Congratulations to Linda G. who chose a copy of “GOD LIGHT: Sunlight Sonlight.” Part of Linda’s entry stated, “I really love symbolism and the way God uses symbols and metaphors throughout His Word. I would like to see what you have found in your study of light in the Bible and how it applies to the Christian life.” 

Congratulations to both Cherie and Linda. You should have received an email from me asking for your mailing particulars—if not, please email me. A copy of your requested book will be sent to you within a few days. 

A truly good book teaches me better than to read it.
I must soon lay it down, and commence living on its hint.
What I began by reading, I must finish by acting.
~ Henry David Thoreau ~

~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Are You In?

~ 4 “In” Opportunities In Ephesians ~           

Are You “In Christ”  ~  How is your standing? “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus: grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 1:1-2). “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Ephesians 2:10). “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ” (Ephesians 2:13). 

Are You “In the Lord”  ~ How is your current subjection? “This I say, therefore, and testify in the Lord, that you should no longer walk as the rest of the Gentiles walk, in the futility of their mind” (Ephesians 4:17). “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth)” (Ephesians 5:8-9). 

Are You “In the Spirit”  ~  How is your present condition? “Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (Ephesians 2:19-22). “Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:14-18). 

“Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God” (Ephesians 5:17-21).

Are You “In One Body”  ~  How is your attitude of unity? “But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father” (Ephesians 2:13-18). 

~ Robert Lloyd Russell, ABUNDANT LIFE NOW