POPEYE’S GRACE

POPEYE’S GRACE

1Co. 15:10
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

Today’s verse reminds me of the cartoon character Popeye I used to watch as a kid. “I am whats I am and thats all what I am” Popeye used to say. He took pride in just being the small, ordinary sailor, at least until he ate his spinach. The spinach seemed to have an almost supernatural effect on him. Popeye’s spinach is like our infusion of the supernatural grace of God. We are whats we are by the grace of God. I love Paul’s combination of humility and confidence expressed in this verse. He recognized the weakness and shortcomings of his humanness and at the same time was confident in Christ who was working mightily within him. All of us face the same dilemma, we are weak and unable to stand up in the midst of the crazy onslaught we experience daily in this life. At the same time, we are strong enough for any challenge, empowered by Christ within us. Kathryn Kuhlman expressed the beauty of God’s grace in these words.

“Where would any man or any woman be this very hour were it not for the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ? Grace greater than all our sins – grace greater than all our shortcomings.

I am reminded of God’s grace when someone confides, “I wasn’t worthy of this healing or of God’s blessings. I am not worthy to be called an heir of God and a joint-heir with Christ Jesus.”

It isn’t a matter of being worthy, for no man is worthy! It isn’t our perfection or our penitence, or a matter of our labors to reach the place of perfection or worthiness. It is God’s grace alone!”

Popeye would often face impossible circumstances normally brought about by his foe Bluto. He would always thwart his foe by the strange effect the spinach would have on him. You and I face an adversary that opposes us at every turn. The good news is that our sufficiency is not in our gifts, resources, or talents, our help comes from the Lord. If the Bible is true, we are sufficient for any challenge that comes our way. What can separate us from the love of God? Is there any trial, any sickness, any financial need, or any demon that can defeat us? Impossible!!! We are literally more than conquerors through Christ. Like Popeye and the Apostle Paul, I am what I am and that’s all what I am. Maybe being empowered by spinach is a stretch but we have more than spinach working for us. We have Christ Himself working within us by the grace of God. Regardless of what kind of battle you are facing today you are more than a match for the battle. Remember, you are what you are by the grace of God.

ADAM’S FOLLY

ADAM’S FOLLY

1Cor. 15:45-49 And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a life-giving spirit. However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual. The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.

How did we get in such a mess? How did our world become so complicated and so goofed up? When God created man, everything was much simpler, the world and everything in it flowed together in harmony. There was no sickness, strife , poverty, or lack; we were intended to live in a paradise. We know the rest of the story, Adam sinned and the rest is history. We have all born the brunt of Adam’s folly. As Paul said, we bare the image of the earthly man. Inside of all of us is the seed of death, the fallen nature that is alien and hostile toward God. He is not in our thoughts and our hearts are far from Him.
That brings us to the Last Adam, the Heavenly Man, the Lord Jesus from heaven. He came to represent the fallen race of Adam and to redeem a remnant of Adam’s fallen sons and daughters. That is what the cross was all about, we were purchased by His blood and have been implanted with the nature of this Heavenly Man. So now, if you have received His nature into your life, you are been changed into the glorious image of this Heavenly Man. As it says in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
This passage describes a supernatural transformation or as the original greek brings out, a metamorphosis of the Spirit. We are being changed into the image of Jesus Christ. We have born the image of the earthly, now we are bearing the image of the heavenly. We have been more than just forgiven, we have been changed. Paul said this change was from glory to glory. This phrase seems to imply from one degree of glory to the next. (The ESV Bible actually translates that verse in that way). If you are a Christian, you are being changed. Being forgiven is great but it is not good enough. The Lord is relentless and will not be satisfied until you and I bare the image of Christ, the Heavenly Man clearly in our lives.

BORN FROM THE EARTH

BORN FROM THE EARTH

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. (Gen 2:7)

Truth shall spring out of the earth, And righteousness shall look down from heaven. (Ps.85:11)
As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man.(1 Cor.15:48,49)

The Bible is filled with rich nuggets of valuable truth, sometimes it seems that we are miners seeking the hidden riches of God as diligently as a prospector mines for gold, only our discoveries are far more precious. At first glance, the scriptures for today seem unrelated, but upon further examination we find the priceless thread of revelation that brings them all together.
These verses declare to us the powerful truth of Christ’s identification with the human race. Just as Adam was a man of the earth, formed from the dust of God’s creation, Christ Himself became a Son of Man. He was born of a virgin, He took on human nature, He truly became one of us. This is the powerful message of Christmas: the Word became flesh and tabernacled amongst us, we have seen His Glory, the Glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. Truth has sprung out from the earth as the scriptures have said. Christ has been born in a manger in Bethlehem. The wise men came from the east after seeing His star in the heavens, the temple shepherds came after the angelic visitation.
We come today, observing His Glory in the written Word. Many people never saw the star in the sky, most casual observers never heard the angel’s song, and today, many Bibles lay unopened leaving the priceless treasures undiscovered. But to those who have been given eyes to see, we are following the star, we are singing with the angels, and we are mining for the hidden treasures of God’s Word longing to catch a glimpse of the Glory that is shining through the ages.
Today, open up your Bible—it is your most precious earthly treasure! Value its contents because it contains the hidden treasures of God. Like the wise men of old, we are searching for the hidden treasures of God. Maybe those all around you have shut their ears and closed their hearts, but your eyes are wide open, beholding the Glory of the Lord in the face of Jesus Christ.

THE SOON RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST

THE SOON RETURN OF JESUS CHRIST

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.

1Cor.15:52 & 1Thes.4:16

Do you ever think about the end of the world? Do you really think Jesus Christ will return physically to our world? What about during our lifetime, are the end of all things as, as we know them, at hand? I believe the end of all things is right at the door, the return of Christ is imminent, His kingdom reign on earth is certain. The strange thing about the fulfillment of prophetic events is their timing, it seems like they are delayed and may never be fulfilled and then, suddenly, they are dramatically in place. In the today’s verse we see this dynamic displayed. Paul uses the phrase, translated in English, “the twinkling of an eye”. This is describing a sudden, supernatural fulfillment of God’s prophetic plans, here is Dick Mills thoughts on this beautiful Bible word.

“Paul had in his vocabulary the following words to indicate time: millennium (1000 years), century (100 years), decade (10 years),year, season, month, week, day, and hour. (These are all Bible words. Paul did not have the words minute and second; these came later.) Yet when describing the return of the Lord, none of these words would suffice. The Holy Spirit inspired Paul to write “in an atomos,” “in the twinkling of an eye.” Jesus is coming in an atomic second. A second can be calibrated to a half second, a tenth of a second, a hundredth of a second, even a thousandth of a second. But an atomic second is a unit which is incapable of being further divided. ”

That is incredible! The Lord will suddenly appear, literally in “an atomic instant”. How should that effect our lives? First, it produces a joyful anticipation in our hearts knowing our reward is at hand. Secondly, it fills our hearts with an incredible sense of fear and awe, our incredible Lord Jesus will suddenly appear. I want to be ready for that moment, how about you?

BORN FROM THE EARTH

BORN FROM THE EARTH

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.
Gen 2:7
Truth shall spring out of the earth,
And righteousness shall look down from heaven.
Ps.85:11
As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear* the image of the heavenly Man.
1 Cor.15:48,49

The Bible is filled with rich nuggets of valuable truth, sometimes it seems that we are miners seeking the hidden riches of God as diligently as a prospector mines for gold, only our discoveries are far more precious. At first glance, the scriptures for today seem unrelated, but upon further examination we find the priceless thread of revelation that brings them all together. These verses declare to us the powerful truth of Christ’s identification with the human race. Just as Adam was a man of the earth, formed from the dust of God’s creation, Christ Himself became a Son of Man. He was born of a virgin, He took on human nature, He trully became one of us. This is the powerful message of Christmas, the Word became flesh and tabernacled amongst us, we have seen His Glory, the Glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. Truth has sprung out from the earth as the scriptures have said, Christ has been born in a manger in Bethlehem. The wise men came from the east after seeing His star in the heavens, the temple shepherds came after the angelic visitation. We come today, observing His Glory in the written Word. Many people never saw the star in the sky, most casual observers never heard the angel’s song, and today, many Bibles lay unopened leaving the priceless treasures undiscovered. But to those who have been given eyes to see, we are following the star, we are singing with the angels, and we are mining for the hidden treasures of God’s Word longing to catch a glimpse of the Glory that is shining through the ages. Today, open up your Bible, it is your most precious earthly treasure, value its contents because it contains the hidden treasures of God. Like the wise men of old, we are searching for the hidden treasures of God. Maybe those all around you have shut their ears and closed their hearts, but your eyes are wide open, beholding the Glory of the Lord in the face of Jesus Christ.