The Soaring Eagle

Only your body is limited. Your spirit can 'mount up on wings like eagles'


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The Priest

2016-12-10

“You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.”
(Psalm 110:4)

Reflection:
The Messiah to come would be born of a woman and would be both a Prophet and a King. Now we hear that He would also be a Priest.

The priesthood indicated is not the Levitical priesthood to which the nation was accustomed. This had been instituted by God Himself after bringing the Israelites out of Egypt and giving them the Law on Mount Sinai. But Jesus was not descended from Levi. Here God refers to a different priesthood that predates that of Aaron.

Melchizedek is a mysterious figure who is mentioned in only three passages. The first is when he meets Abraham as he returns from rescuing Lot. Here he both blessed Abraham and received from him a tithe of the spoils that Abraham had taken. He is also mentioned in Hebrews where we learn that he was ‘king of Salem and priest of God Most High.’ (7:1) The writer goes on to say that his name means ‘king of righteousness’ and ‘king of peace.’ There is no record of his parents or genealogy, of his birth or of his death. He is an indication that there is a priesthood superior to the Levitical priesthood.

Here then is a Messiah who is to take to Himself the major ministries of Prophet, King and Priest. As Prophet He is the eternal Word of God, the fulfillment of prophecy and greater than all the prophets. He is the King that God had in mind for Himself and greater than all and any of the kings of Israel. He is also the one true and eternal Priest who alone is qualified and worthy to serve the Holy God and with a one perfect and sufficient sacrifice.

Unlike the prophets of Israel He is the Prophet of eternal good news – a salvation not dependent upon the law but on the grace of God. He is the Shepherd King who, unlike David, is able to lead His flock into the quiet waters and green pastures of the heart of the living and Almighty God. And He is the Great High Priest who represents us to God and who offers to God not repeated animal sacrifices but the one great sacrifice of Himself which alone is sufficient to deal with all the sins of the world – past, present and future. And being the eternal Son these ministries are His ‘forever.’

This is our Saviour God.

Question:
Is my vision of the Lord big enough?

Response:
Think and pray about these things

Prayer:

Holy Spirit, please open my eyes to the glory, the truth and the love of the Lord Jesus. Amen.

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The King

2016-12-08

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given,
and the government will be on his shoulders.
And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor,
Mighty God, Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.
(Isaiah 9:6)

Reflection:
The Messiah would be a descendant of Eve, of the line of Abraham, a prophet like Moses who saw God ‘face to face,’ and also a king like David whom God referred to as ‘a man after His own heart’ (1 Samuel 13:14).

David was the greatest of the kings of Israel. After him, with a few exceptions, the kings became corrupt and the nation suffered. It was eventually carried off into exile. However the coming Kingdom of God would be different.

God’s Kingdom would be righteous and the Messiah would rule with justice.

“The days are coming,” declares the LORD, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land” (Jeremiah 23:5)

God’s Kingdom would be peaceful. David’s kingdom had known seemingly endless wars but God chose as David’s successor his son Solomon whose name means peace or peaceable. He was the one whom God chose to build His temple and God gave him peace from his enemies.

“But you will have a son who will be a man of peace and rest, and I will give him rest from all his enemies on every side. His name will be Solomon, and I will grant Israel peace and quiet during his reign. He is the one who will build a house for my Name. He will be my son, and I will be his father. And I will establish the throne of his kingdom over Israel forever” (1 Chronicles 22:9-10)

God’s Kingdom would be stable and would last forever.

“Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations” (Psalm 145:13)

God’s Kingdom would know no boundaries.

“He will proclaim peace to the nations. His rule will extend from sea to sea and from the River to the ends of the earth” (Zechariah 9:10)

The Kingdom of God would be a glorious kingdom because of the nature and character of the Lord Himself – His supreme majesty, authority, power, righteousness, faithfulness and love.

“God, the blessed and only Ruler, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honour and might forever. Amen” (1 Timothy 6:15-16)

Question:
Has my will bowed to the Lord’s?

Response:
There cannot be two Kings

Prayer:

Lord may Your Kingdom come in me and on earth even as it is in heaven, Amen.

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The Prophet

2016-12-07

“The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among your own brothers. You must listen to him”
(Deuteronomy 18:15)

Reflection:
We have seen that humanly Jesus would be a descendant of Eve and of Abraham – the fulfilment of God’s creation and of God’s covenant. Here Moses tells of one to come who would be raised up as a man from amongst His people – and to whom they must listen.

This promise through Moses could have been taken to refer to the succession of prophets through whom God would speak to His people Israel. For

“In the past God spoke to our forefathers through the prophets at many times and in various ways” (Hebrews 1:1)

However, when the voice of prophecy was no longer heard in the period between the Old and New Testaments the title ‘The Prophet’ became a recognisable reference to the Messiah who was expected to come. And after Jesus began His ministry the crowds were recorded as saying.

“Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world” (John 6:14)

In Peter’s early sermon in Acts he clearly applies this prophecy to Jesus (Acts 3:22).

On the Mount of Transfiguration God Himself used the same command in relation to Jesus that He had issued through Moses. He said to Peter, James and John, and He says to all of us today, “Listen to Him”

Born of a woman from a line that reached back to Eve the man called Jesus was recognised as the fulfillment of the long list of prophets. And like Moses He knew God “face to face.” (Deuteronomy 34: 10)

Question:
How much do I really ‘listen to Him?’

Response:
To listen to God is to do what He says.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, please help me also to live not on bread alone but on every word that comes from Your mouth. Amen. (Matthew 4:4)

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Called

2016-12-06

“I will bless you … and you will be a blessing. …
And all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
(Genesis 12:2-3)

Reflection:
The Messiah to come would be a descendent of Eve. He would also be a descendent of Abraham.

Abraham was the first of the three great patriarchs of God’s chosen people – the people of the covenant. To him God gave these significant promises –

  • I will bless you
  • You will be a blessing
  • All people will be blessed through you.

The blessing that was to flow from Abraham to ‘all people” was not the land that God also promised. It was a seed or descendent of Abraham in and through whom God’s promises were to be fulfilled. And Paul writing to the church in Galatia makes it quite clear that this blessing was in fact to be the Messiah.

  • “The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say “and to seeds,” meaning many people, but “and to your seed,” meaning one person, who is Christ” (Galatians 3:16)

It is through our union with Christ by faith that we become recipients too of these promises and blessings.

  • “If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:29)

God called Abraham out of nowhere as the start of His establishment of a covenant people with whom He would journey into the future. Very clearly He shows that His actions are built around His purpose and plan for a Saviour – as He had prophesied in Eden. The Messiah is implied  here as God continues also to lay down the human line of Jesus which would establish Him as truly the Son of Man.

Question:
Do I realise that I too am blessed – and a blessing – and a revelation of God?

Response:
God called me to be a part of His purpose

Prayer:

Lord God, please help me to acknowledge and respond to Your call – and to walk with You in trust and love as You lead me forward. Amen.

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Good News

2016-12-05

“And I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.”
(Genesis 3:15)

Reflection:
Immediately after the sin and fall of Adam and Eve came God’s great announcement.  He would save sinners through a descendant of the very person by whom sin had entered into the world. And as sin had entered through Eve – with Adam looking on – so salvation would enter through another woman – with her husband looking on.

With this prophecy God also made it clear that He had established a reciprocal enmity between Eve’s descendants and principalities and powers of evil. There can therefore never be any question of a compromise or acceptable relationship with evil.  And although this feud would be relentless it would only last for a certain period. For the time would come when the prophesied Saviour would fully and finally crush the head of the ‘serpent’ and destroy him forever.

Now that God, through the death and resurrection and ascension of Christ has ‘placed all things under His feet’ (Ephesians 1:22) we can look forward with confidence to the final destruction of all that is evil.

 “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet” (Romans 16:20)

All the evil that we see and sense around us and even within us will not exist forever. There will come a time when it will be extinguished and its influence disappear. This would be established through the One who was to be born of a woman who was a descendant of the first woman herself.

Question:
Have I confidence in God’s plan –because I have confidence in God?

Response:
God’s word will achieve its purpose – His Word will achieve His purpose.

Prayer:

Lord God You have promised us a full and eternal deliverance from evil. Even now Father deliver us from evil – the evil around us and the evil which attacks us individually. In Jesus Name. Amen.

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Fruit that Lasts

2016-12-02

“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you;
I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.
I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
(Genesis 12:2-3)

Reflection:
God doesn’t need much. He created everything out of nothing – that is, nothing as we know it existed before His creation. He made man from the dust of the earth. And now He commenced His great plan of salvation by calling out one man. To this man He gave the most remarkable prophetic promise.

Abraham was not a particularly special or gifted or deserving man – nor was he at times very trusting of God. But God knew his heart and knew that Abraham would allow God to work in and through him. Abraham ‘uttered no prophecy, wrote no book, sang no song and gave no laws.’ Yet he alone is spoken of as ‘the father of the faithful’ and as ‘the friend of God.’ It has also been said that he is ‘the only type in Scripture of God the Father.’ Such was his love and faith that he was prepared to sacrifice his God-given son in what was to be a prophetic glimpse into the terrible sacrifice that God Himself would make. He had grown to love and trust God completely.

Note how in the purpose for which Abraham was called everything was focussed on what God would do for him and through him: “I will make you;” “I will bless you;” “I will bless those;” “I will curse;” and as a consequence of which “you will be a blessing” and “all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” It was all about the grace of God from start to finish.

Abraham was followed by numbers of other individuals in and through whom God was able to work in wonderful ways as they put their trust in Him. There were Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Joshua, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Elijah, John the Baptist and Mary to name just a few. In all of their lives the focus was on what God was doing and not on their own contributions.

Much of this was picked up by Jesus in His very telling picture and explanation of the Vine. He is the Vine itself and we, His disciples, are His chosen branches. As long as we remain attached to Him His life and power will flow into us and will, in consequence, produce fruit for the benefit of others. The closer and more open our relationship the more He will be enabled to produce ‘much fruit’ both in and through us. The wonder of the grace and glory of God is that others will almost always be able to see far more fruit than we perceive in ourselves. This is how it should be for it is God’s fruit and not ours.

Question:
Who fills my life – God or me?

Response:
It is only God’s fruit that will last

Prayer:

Lord Jesus please help me to draw closer to You, be more open to You and allow You to direct and fill my life. Amen.

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King Forever

2016-12-01

“The sceptre will not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until he comes to whom it belongs
and the obedience of the nations is his”
(Genesis 49:10)

Reflection:
Here we begin to see God’s purpose and plan. There will come a King who will receive back the kingly authority given to the tribe of Judah and will rule instead with Divine power and authority over all the peoples of the earth. Paul put it this way,

“Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11)

There will be no one able to stand against Him. He has overcome the power of the devil through the Cross and Resurrection and, in the fullness of time, God ‘will make your enemies a footstool for your feet.’ (Luke 20:43) This Jesus will also be the one who will judge the people of the earth.

“When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left” (Matthew 25:31-33)

But there is far more. For such is the love of God that He has given us this same Jesus – through whom all things were made and by whom they are sustained – to be not only our King and Supreme Lord but our Saviour as well.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16)

And finally, there will come a time when God’s initial purpose has been fulfilled – and a completely new day will dawn.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” (Revelation 21:3-5)

Come Lord Jesus.

Question:
Is my main focus on the destination or the journey – on mortal man or immortal Man?

Response:
Jesus is my Saviour and King – today and forever!

Prayer:

Lord Jesus, in my darkness and my light I look to You. You are my constant and eternal One who will see me through today and tomorrow, and into the joyous liberation of the life to come. Amen.

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