Genesis 17:1 The Perfection Pronouncement

Genesis 17:1 (KJV)
And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.

Abraham had walked with God, by this time, for more than two decades. It had not been a sinless walk, but it had been a faithful one. He would not walk perfectly sinless even from here.

Perfection, in the sense of sinlessness, is attainable only in heaven.

In Abram’s case, perfection was in the answer of God for a son. Whatever else Abram was, he was not complete, so far as God’s plan for his life, until he and Sarai had a son. “Be thou perfect” was not a command for Abram to obey but a pronouncement from God upon him.

Jesus said, Matthew 5:48  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

It is in the same vein, not a command but a pronouncement accomplished by God in us through the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

Perfection is found in placing faith in Jesus Christ.

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Pastor Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Genesis 17:1 The Perfection Pronouncement

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John 16:5-6 The True Issue of Life

John 16:5-6 (KJV)
But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou?
But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart.

Albert Barnes writes,
“They gave themselves up to grief instead of inquiring why he was about to leave them. Had they made the inquiry, he was ready to answer them and to comfort them. When we are afflicted we should not yield ourselves to excessive grief. We should inquire why it is that God thus tries us; and we should never doubt that if we come to him, and spread out our sorrows before him, he will give us consolation.”

I am encouraged to note that, even though the disciples focused on grief rather than reason, Jesus comforted them anyway. We are so prone to improper, selfish reactions rather than appropriate spiritual ones. God, in mercy, corrects us and directs us and all the while blesses us with what we need rather than what we want.

Our focus ought to be on the plan of God. What is it He is accomplishing? What is it that is His will? How is it that He might be most glorified in our lives?

These are the true issues of life.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Pastor Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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John 16:5-6 The True Issue of Life

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Genesis 15:1 A Shield and a Reward

Genesis 15:1 (KJV)
After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

God consoled Abram’s fear by giving him two great things; both of them in the Person of God. Abram need not fear because:

God was his shield
I note that a shield is an inanimate object. It only works if the possessor uses it. This is not to say that God is inanimate but that He expects our responsibility. Followers are to be aware, holy, diligent and studious among other things.

The shield takes the blows for its possessor. The attacks of the world the flesh and the devil can feel like they are directed at believers but the real target is God. In many cases, though the shield would take most blows, one here and there get to the possessor. Yes, we get hurt in this contest with the world. Some of us get very hurt. But God takes the brunt and sees to it even the most injured are handsomely compensated.

God was His reward
I note He was more than that; He was his exceeding great reward. No struggle faced by a believer goes unnoticed by God or unrewarded in heaven. It may be that we get the short end of the world but we get the long end of heaven. I suspect that the shorter the stick here, the longer it is in glory.

Despite all that, Abram had a hope for today. He longed for a child. It was this longing, and his failure to be satisfied in God that led to the greatest error of his life; the birth of Ishmael. But I do mark that God did hear and answer his longing with the miraculous birth of Isaac.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Pastor Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit Bible Baptist Church of Puyallup.

Genesis 15:1 A Shield and a Reward

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Genesis 13:3-4 Back to the Beginning

Genesis 13:3-4 (KJV)
And he went on his journeys from the south even to Bethel, unto the place where his tent had been at the beginning, between Bethel and Hai;
Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the name of the LORD.

Abram’s sojourn to Egypt had hurt him spiritually but not financially. He left Egypt very rich in animals and silver and gold but distant from God. So what does a man do in that spot?

Do what Abram did.

  • He went where he began and
  • He did what he first did

Go back to your spiritual roots.
I know sometimes it is impossible to get to the literal location and that sometimes we just can’t reverse every consequence of past choices. I’m thinking that, in some cases, a person might want to travel back to the spiritual place before the one they can’t get back to.[1] It’s a matter of the heart and the spirit, not the place and the circumstances. Find that last place when everything was right in your heart with God and get back there.

By the way, I notice that getting back didn’t make Abram’s life any easier. One of the deepest problems with modern Christianity is that we tend to use it to avoid problems. Real Christianity likely creates more trouble in this world than it solves. It’s an “other worldly” faith that finds few real friends here.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Pastor Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit Bible Baptist Church of Puyallup.

Genesis 13:3-4 Back to the Beginning

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Genesis 11:10 Here, Here!

Genesis 11:10 (KJV)
These are the generations of Shem: Shem was an hundred years old, and begat Arphaxad two years after the flood:

Shem would have been 98-99 years old when the Flood happened. Since Noah built on the Ark for the better part of 120 years, he was 20 years into the project when Shem was born.

Shem did not start the construction with his dad but grew up watching his father build and very likely hearing his father preach. When the time came he was old enough he probably got started working alongside. I can imagine the young child asking to help:

  • Picking up his father’s hammer
  • Packing materials to his father
  • Pretending to preach just like his father

As he grew older, time and experience would have developed in him building skills of his own. He picked up his own hammer and saw.

Then came the day of his own adulthood. He had done what his father did because his father did it. Now he must choose to follow his father by conviction.

It is no small thing that, for perhaps 80 years, Shem worked alongside his father. He was born into this calling. It was not His by free will from the beginning and yet, when the time came, Shem carried on his Father’s teaching and practice.

Here here! for the young person who will carry on what his teachers have given him without altering or changing it when they have the means to do so.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Pastor Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit Bible Baptist Church of Puyallup.

Genesis 11:10 Here, Here!

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John 12:1-5 Why Jesus Didn’t…

John 12:1-5 (KJV)
Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead.
There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him.
Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair: and the house was filled with the odour of the ointment.
Then saith one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, which should betray him,
Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor?

This, to me, is an almost inconceivable event.
They are sitting at a dining table with a man who had been dead and buried four days. They all know it. There were people coming just to see him. Jews were leaving their religion to follow Jesus because of him. The Pharisees were plotting to kill Lazarus and get rid of this, so very visible, proof of Christ’s deity.

I can’t imagine being in anything but awe.
How could you talk or eat, let alone squabble over the woman and her alabaster box? I can only think of one reason; the people were so used to His miracles that they had become commonplace to them.

Imagine that!
Imagine becoming used to Jesus’ miracles. It’s not that Jesus walked around throwing away miracles.

  • He did not heal every sick person.
  • He did not resurrect everyone dead and buried.
  • He did not give food to every hungry child
  • He did not heal every cripple or calm every storm.

But He did such amazing miracles frequently enough that the disciples were not shocked at them. On the other hand, neither did those miracles correct them.

  • They still bickered
  • They still misplaced priorities

Ever wonder why Jesus doesn’t heal every cripple and resurrect every dead soul or feed every hungry person? It’s because that would not lead to correction. To take account of sin and to turn from it requires:

  • Believing faith
  • Enduring patience and
  • Suffering difficulties

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Pastor Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit Bible Baptist Church of Puyallup.

John 12:1-5 Why Jesus Didn’t…

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Genesis 8:21-22 While The Earth Remaineth

Genesis 8:21-22 (KJV)
And the LORD smelled a sweet savour; and the LORD said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done.
While the earth remaineth, seedtime and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.

In within the promise there is a prophecy of coming judgment. “While the earth remaineth…” things will continue as they were from the fathers. We need not fear. Summer will be followed by fall:

  • fall by winter,
  • winter by spring

until it is summer again.

There will be:

  • Cold and heat
  • Wind and rain
  • Dew and dryness

So that we may:

  • Plant our crops
  • Tend our herds and
  • Manage our businesses

While the earth remaineth.”

Men may:

  • Set their clocks
  • Plan their calendars and
  • Prepare for their futures

because, “while the earth remaineth” millennia will go by with relative consistency.

But we must never lose sight of the prophecy; the earth will not remain forever. One day this earth all that is in it will melt with a fervent heat.[1] God will create a new heaven and a new earth where only righteousness dwells.

Be sure you have prepared to be there.

[1] 2 Peter 3:12 (KJV)
Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Pastor Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit Bible Baptist Church of Puyallup.

Genesis 8:21-22 While The Earth Remaineth

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John 9:3 God’s Not Dwelling On Our Sin

John 9:3 (KJV)
Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.

Every word of God must be considered in light of the whole Word of God.
We know that “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.[1] That would include this man and his parents. These two passages are in no way contradictory. Neither was Jesus ignorant of the sinful nature of this family. His words must simply be considered in context. No one in this family had committed a sin responsible for his blindness. There was, in this case, a specific purpose for the blindness[2] but it was not their sin.

We learn the lesson not to make a judgment from a single verse without context or consideration of the whole Bible.

  • Many a heresy has been developed from this error.
  • Many a disagreement among Christian friends has arisen from the same.

We also find encouragement in the context.
Jesus undoubtedly knew of sins committed by this man and by his parents but did not bring them up in this context. They were irrelevant to the conversation and to the subject at hand. Isn’t it comforting to think that God does not dwell on every sin we have committed and will commit?  This is not an excuse to sin but it does relieve that weight of oppression some people live under.

God:

  • Forgives our sin in Christ
  • Only judges sin when Christ is rejected and
  • Views sinners as objects of His love and not subjects of His wrath

[1] Romans 3:23

[2] There isn’t in every case. Sometimes blindness, and other bad things happen to people just because we live in a sin cursed world.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Pastor Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit Bible Baptist Church of Puyallup.

John 9:3 God’s Not Dwelling On Our Sin

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John 8:19 Jesus, According to Jesus

John 8:19 (KJV)
Then said they unto him, Where is thy Father? Jesus answered, Ye neither know me, nor my Father: if ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.

John 8:54-55 (KJV)
Jesus answered, If I honour myself, my honour is nothing: it is my Father that honoureth me; of whom ye say, that he is your God:
Yet ye have not known him; but I know him: and if I should say, I know him not, I shall be a liar like unto you: but I know him, and keep his saying.

The Jews and the Muslims are in the same boat as the

  • Mormons
  • Jehovah’s Witnesses and
  • Modalists

they do not know the Biblical Jesus and therefore they do not know the true and living God the Father.

Mind you,

  • Each of them claims that God the Father is their God.
  • Each of them teaches some position on Jesus (the Jews would say He is a false Messiah) but
  • Each of them denies Jesus’ testimony concerning Himself

John 8:14
Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.

The only way to ever know God in Spirit and in truth is to know Jesus as He describes Himself.

 

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Pastor Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit Bible Baptist Church of Puyallup.

John 8:19 Jesus, According to Jesus

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John 7:42 No wonder There Was Division

John 7:42 (KJV)
Hath not the scripture said, That Christ cometh of the seed of David, and out of the town of Bethlehem, where David was?

No one was really thinking clearly here.

  • One argued that Jesus is the Christ, but their whole basis appears to be experience
  • Others argued from the scriptures that He could not be the Christ, but they did not consider all Scripture regarding Christ

No wonder there was division among them.

Scripture must always be our basis of faith. Experience will never suffice. Experience, consistent with the Scripture can be a powerful encouragement in our faith but it can never replace faith in the Word of God.

Scripture, not studied in context with the whole, is deceiving and dangerous.

  • We must believe based on the Bible.
  • We must see the Bible as a whole truth to be taken only as a whole.

To my readers:
I would love to hear from you. Leave comments below.

For this and more than 3800 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Pastor Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit Bible Baptist Church of Puyallup.

John 7:42 No wonder There Was Division

Please consider helping our church’s teen department by signing up for cash back shopping at Bible Baptist Church Fundraiser. This program has three levels of participation, the first being completely free.