What is the Gospel for today? part five
700 years before Jesus, the Christ
Isaiah 40:9-11--"Zion, herald of good news, go up on a high mountain. Jerusalem, herald of good news, raise your voice loudly. Raise it, do not be afraid! Say to the cities of Judah, 'Here is your God!' See, the Lord God comes with strength, and His power establishes His rule. His reward is with Him, and His gifts accompany Him. He protects His flock like a shepherd; He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them in the fold of His garment. He gently leads those that are nursing."
Isaiah was an Old Testament prophet from the Kingdom of Judah who lived at around the 8th century B.C. (700s B.C.) One can read in the first part of the book of Isaiah that Isaiah lived during the times of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz and Hezekiah...all kings of Judah. Isaiah's date of death is unknown; but, some believed he died of martyrdom by the hands of Manasseh, who ruled in Judah after Hezekiah.
Isaiah is not the first man in the Old Testament to have been given the promise of a deliverer. From the accounts of Genesis, we read the first prophecy of the coming of our Lord as a savior.
Genesis 3:15--"'I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed. He will strike your head,and you will strike his heel.'" (This was approximately 2,000 years, give or take, before the birth of Jesus, the Christ.)
This same Gospel that was prophesied of and taught to children is the same Gospel was born and laid in a lowly manger. It is the same Gospel that felt every human emotion and was tempted with every temptation of Satan. It is the same Gospel that went to the cross to bear the shamefulness of mankind, to make a way for us. It is the same Gospel that lives today at the right hand of Abba Father to make intercession for us each day.
We should never confuse God's patience with His slowness. He is in control of every aspect of mankind, and He works in His own timing to the perfection of His will.
Romans 12:2--"Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God."
The Day of the Lord will come. Our human minds cannot fathom God's timing. But we can be assured of the promises He makes. We can be assured that there will be a day when the evil that has consumed this world will cease to be and peace, the true peace of the Lord, will reign supreme.
Obadiah :15--"For the Day of the Lord is near,against all the nations. As you have done, so iit will be done to you; what you deserve will return on your own head. "
1 Thessalonians 5:2--"For you yourselves know very well that the Day of the Lord will come just like a thief in the night."
We all know, or should know, about the sermon on the mount. This is recorded both in Matthew (Chapters 5-7) and in Luke chapter 6, and was given on or around the Galilean hillsides; but, the exact place or location is not known. This is the longest preaching, or teaching, that Jesus gave during His ministry; but, is the most famous. It includes the Beatitudes (the verses starting with "Blessed are..." and the Lord's Prayer.
We are blessed today. Take a look around you; what do you have in your life that is counted as blessings? Well, if you are a married person, you can be sure of the blessings of having a partner to go through life with, someone who can be the strength to your weaknesses and to whom you can be strength for his/her weaknesses. If you happen to be a parent, take a good, long look at your child(ren). Our children are wonderful, miraculous blessings. Let's go further into the water...If you have a roof over your head, you are blessed. If you go to bed at night without knowing hunger pains, you are blessed. If you have shoes on your feet, you are blessed. Can we go ever deeper into the water? If you awoke this morning and were able to breath air into your lungs, and have your heart pump blood throughout your body, YOU ARE BLESSED!
Matthew 5:3-12--“The poor in spirit are blessed, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. Those who mourn are blessed, for they will be comforted. The gentle are blessed, for they will inherit the earth. Those who hunger and thirst for righteousness are blessed, for they will be filled. The merciful are blessed,for they will be shown mercy. The pure in heart are blessed,for they will see God. The peacemakers are blessed,for they will be called sons of God. Those who are persecuted for righteousness are blessed,for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. You are blessed when they insult and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of Me. Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
HCSB (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
For this article blog I chose to utilize the verses of the HCSB (Holman Christian Standard Bible). I will state factually, again, that your choice of Bible is yours; personally I prefer the NIV (New International Version). Though there are many translations of the original manuscripts (Bible), they all remain vigilant in conveying the doctrines necessary for the Christian.
The HCSB was published in 2004 through the work of 100+ international and interdenominational scholars and proofreaders. The New Testament had been previously published on its own in 1989. The translator wanted to find an "optimal" balance between a formal equivalence (word-for-word) Bible and a functional dynamic equivalence (thought-for-thought) Bible, as its primary goal was to convey the original texts in as clear a way as was possible without detracting from the meaning found in the original texts.