Don't Miss Out On What The Bible Offers Us ALL!

As we look at the world today - Middle East, Ukraine, Islamic fundamentalism, the economic situation, the social unrest etcetera, a Christian writer feels almost obliged to try to explain it all from a Christian and biblical point of view.

But while not ignoring the seriousness of the situation, or deliberately turning my back on it or saying, as many still do, "eat, drink and be merry, it’ll all be the same in a hundred years"; Enjoy life while you can.

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It will, emphatically, not be the same in a hundred years, Bible prophecy shows that we are very near the end of the end times, and that Jesus Christ is coming again; are you ready when he does?

Nevertheless, I feel that I would like to deal in this article with another subject, because Bible themes are relevant at all times, and is food for the soul.

The Bible - the Word of God - is indeed a remarkable book, and while it has a major theme, nevertheless, it has something to say and teach on all kinds of subjects. The majority of them, of course, from Genesis to Revelation, are to reveal the way of God’s salvation through Jesus Christ.

In the Luke’s gospel we read about two sad and disillusioned disciples walking from Jerusalem to a distant village, believing that Jesus was crucified and dead, when Jesus himself (risen from the dead) caught up with them and walked with them; but they were kept from recognising him.

When they told him how they felt, he rebuked their unbelief and we read that - Beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself - Luke 24: 27

The great theme of the whole bible is Jesus Christ! But it also speaks about all sorts of things - salt, honey, rainbows, different sorts of trees and plants, it touches on astronomy, it tells us that planet earth is round and floating in space; weights, measures and money are all  scrutinized, and one could go on.

But recently I very much struck by the brief blessings, complete in themselves, that we call ‘benedictions’. There must be at least ten or fifteen in both the Old and the New Testaments. Perhaps the best known is the one that is so often pronounced at the end of a Christian meeting - 

May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all - 2 Corinthians 13: 14

Here are a few more from both Testaments -

"The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face towards you and give you peace" - Numbers 6: 24 to 26

"To him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy - to the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forever more! Amen." - Jude 24 & 25

May the Lord make your love to increase and overflow to each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus Christ comes with all his holy ones - 1 Thessalonians 12 & 13

One final one from the Psalms -

The Lord keep you from all harm - he will watch over your life; the lord will watch over your coming and going both now and forever more - Psalm 121: 7 & 8

I think that they are all very beautiful, but let’s take the very first one that I mentioned and see what it tells us -

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all - 2 Corinthians 13: 14

‘the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ’

Grace is one of the great themes of the Bible. My Bible Dictionary describes it -‘Divine grace is the free and unmerited love and favour that God shows to a sinful man or woman, and he shows it especially in the plan of redemption through Jesus Christ’.

We cannot earn salvation, as it's free because of the grace of God, but the prove of the reality of it will be our transformed lives, and our good works.

Here are some of the many Scriptures that speak of God’s grace -

From the fullness of his grace we have received one blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ - John 1: 16 & 17

God’s law condemns us, but God’s grace through Jesus Christ saves us.

For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ - John 1:17

Both these two great facts - grace and truth - are personified in the person of Jesus Christ.

The apostle Paul explains grace this way -

Where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace would reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord - Romans 5: 20 & 21

Have you asked God in prayer, dear reader, to forgive you your sins, and make you an object of his mercy and grace and therefore transforming your life from now on? If not do so now, the answer will astound you.

Then the benediction goes on to say - ‘and the love of God’

God is gracious to us because he is love itself - ‘God is love’ 1John 4: 16 and God shows us the extent of his love in that he sent his Son to save us. The cross shows us the depth of his love for us, that, in Christ, he was prepared to pay the price so that he could forgive us without compromising his holiness. He wishes to show you his love right now, if you will come to him through Jesus Christ.

Pray now, believe now, and begin to follow Jesus; let God’s love enfold you.

Finally we read - ‘and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit’ that God in the person of the Holy Spirit should want to bond us in intimate fellowship with the Creator of heaven and earth and be able to call him our Heavenly Father and Jesus, the Son of God, our Lord; is awesome in its implications for eternity.

The apostle John, in his old age, seems still awestruck as he writes -

We proclaim what we have seen and heard, so that you may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make your joy complete - 1 John 1: 3 & 4

Three fundamental things then are to be found in this well known benediction -

GRACE - LOVE - FELLOWSHIP and they all come freely from God through Jesus Christ.

Come to Christ now, ask him to take over your life, and you will become a subject of God’s grace (his unmerited favour) and his love. Your fellowship will be with the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and you will be bonded with everyone else who loves and follows Jesus Christ. Join a local Bible believing church and experience the fabulous fellowship of the saints of God.

Many Blessings!
Pastor Gordon Guillermo Burgess

Facebook: Alicante Church Of The Good Shepherd