Good News Verses (part 19)

The Christian radio station that I listen to daily is WIHS 104.9 FM based out of Middletown, CT. To me, those involved with this station, as in most Christian radio stations, are broadcasting the gospel of Jesus Christ throughout the world.

A segment that this station has been broadcasting for as long as I can remember is The Good News Verse heard every weekday. Very early each morning, one thoughtful Bible passage is given for us to consider and to meditate. This is then repeated several times throughout the day.

When I hear each passage, I ask, how is this “good news” for me? How can I apply it? Why did the publishers choose it for me to consider?

With that in mind, I have gathered a few of them that were broadcasted over the last few days and posted them here for your review. Underneath each I have listed three ways that the passage is applicable for us to use.

As you read them, I am sure you will discover other significant applications than what I have listed.

Below is the collection:

1)  Proverbs 21:3

God is more pleased when we are just and fair than when we give him gifts.

Application:
a) Loving our neighbor is another way of giving gifts to God.

b) Loving others is a reflection of God loving us.

c) God’s greatest gift of love is Jesus Christ.

2) Psalm 29:1-2

Give unto the Lord, O you mighty ones,
Give unto the Lord glory and strength.
Give unto the Lord the glory due to His name;
Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness. (NKJV)

Application:
a) Who are the “mighty ones” referred to in this psalm?

b) How can you give God “glory and strength” if He is already glorious and all powerful?

c) We can only “worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness” through Jesus Christ who, by His presence in us, causes us to be sanctified and holy before God, the Father. Yet, there is also a process of us becoming holy that continues (possible future blog here). This also glorifies the Lord.

3) Hebrews 9:27-28

Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.

Application:
a) Some Christians would have us believe that this passage applies “only” to believers who were predestined by God before the creation of the universe for them (interpretation of the many of this verse) to be in the position of receiving salvation. According to this belief, only in this age is salvation meant for Christians – only they, according to this interpretation, are waiting for Christ’s return for salvation.

I respectfully disagree with that viewpoint. The “many” will also include many others beyond this age who are around or have died and are resurrected when Christ returns. He will then turn many more hearts to Him. God is more gracious than some Christians believe.

b) The phrase, “to take away the sins of many” can be compared with John 1:29, “He who takes away the sin of the world.” How are these two phrases the same? How do they differ?

c) Is judgment mentioned here an automatic sentencing to either heaven or hell? Answer: No. Everyone, including all who never heard of Jesus Christ or did not understand Him at first (how can they understand without the Holy Spirit?), will see Him, be instructed about Him, be offered salvation and – upon their acceptance and belief in Him – obtain a glorious body. Some, sadly, will still reject Jesus Christ after all that.

4) Hebrews 10:22

So let us come near to God with a sincere heart and a sure faith, with hearts that have been purified from a guilty conscience and with bodies washed with clean water. (GNT)

Application:
a) At the cross, Jesus Christ dealt with the world ‘s sin (John 1:29). When you convert to Christianity by accepting and desiring to change your ways (repentance) and believe Christ, your guilty conscience should be wiped away. There is something wrong if you still feel guilty of a past sin(s) after being washed clean. Please note that your guilty conscience resulting from your sins should be washed away. The cleaning of our bodies with water stated in this verse is about getting clean spiritually.

b) Jesus Christ is the Living Water. Because of the Water in us, we Christians are justified before the Father as always being clean – righteous.

c) Being washed in clean water through the purity of Christ does not mean deliberately diving back into the polluted oceans and waterways of this world.

5) Psalm 116:16-17

O Lord, you have freed me from my bonds, and I will serve you forever. I will worship you and offer you a sacrifice of thanksgiving. (TLB)

Application:
a) The good news (referring back to the title of this blog post: Good News Verses – part 19) portion of this passage is God’s deliverance from bondage. The remaining portion of the passage is our response of thankfulness to God for it.

b) This passage expresses confirmation of what God has done for us.

c) When and how is giving thanks to God a sacrifice? Hmm. What exactly is being sacrificed when we give (offer) thanks to God?

6) Psalm 4:4-5

Be angry, and do not sin.
Meditate within your heart on your bed, and be still. Selah
Offer the sacrifices of righteousness,
And put your trust in the Lord.

Application:
a) Anger should not exist against your neighbor, but against the sin of your neighbor and the sin of yourself. Note the difference.

b) In the New Testament era (which is now), putting on Jesus Christ (Romans 13:14) is being righteous before God.

c) Put your trust in God whenever you get angry at an offense someone has committed against you.

7) Psalm 51:17

It is a broken spirit you want—remorse and penitence. A broken and a contrite heart, O God, you will not ignore.

Application:
a) The opposite of a broken spirit in this passage is a spirit of pride – the very first sin which was found in Lucifer (Ezekiel 28:14-15).

b) A contrite heart is a different heart than the one we had before. It is a sign of conversion. (Ezekiel 36:26).

c) Without humility, offerings and sacrifices to God are worthless to Him.

8) Psalm 54:6-7

I will sacrifice a freewill offering to you;
I will praise your name, Lord, for it is good.
You have delivered me from all my troubles,
and my eyes have looked in triumph on my foes.

Application:
a) For those of you who have believed God for some time, you have already experienced moments in your life where He has delivered you from troubles.

b) And if you are currently undergoing a time of trouble, God will deliver you from it in due time – if your eyes keep looking up to Him.

c) After Christ returns, all your foes of your lifetime will stand before you. It may be that Jesus Christ will ask you to help Him judge them (1 Corinthians 6:3). That, most likely, may result in you forgiving and delivering them, (your enemies during your sojourn on earth as a Christian), from trouble.

9) Psalm 141:2

May my prayer be set before you like incense;
may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.

Application:
a) In the Old Covenant, incense and the evening sacrifice were required in the law (Torah). In the New Testament, worshipping in spirit and truth is satisfying to God.

b) David, the psalmist here, had God’s Holy Spirit and thus able to express his desires in this way.

c) The prayer of a saint, a Christian, is like incense of worship before God (Rev. 5:8;  Rev. 8:3).

10) Psalm 107:21-22 

Let them give thanks to the Lord for His lovingkindness,
And for His wonders to the sons of men!
Let them also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving,
And tell of His works with joyful singing. (NASB)

Application:
a) Many, if not most English Bible translations, translate “the sons of men” as the children of men.

b) The “sons of men” referred to in this passage are the descendants of Adam. He was the first man and the father of mankind.

c) Most of mankind have been, and still are, living in darkness. Soon, most of them will see, as believers today see, God’s wonders done for them. They will “also offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of His works with joyful singing.”

11) Hebrews 13:16

Yet we should not forget to do good and to share our good things with others, for these too are the sort of sacrifices God will accept. (PHILLIPS)

Application:
a) This is another verse of what is meant by, sacrificing to God, in the New Covenant.

b) Even with God’s Holy Spirit in us, we can easily become distracted with the cares of this world and not do good by sharing with others.

c) What are “our good things” mentioned here?  List some examples of sharing “our good things” with others.

12) Ephesians 5:2

…and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God. (NRSV)

Application:
a) We Christians are to imitate God’s way of love.

b) Jesus Christ is the way of love.

c) We can love as Jesus Christ loves as we are moved by the Holy Spirit.

13) Hebrews 10:35-36

So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.
You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.

Application:
a) A word that describes your confidence in God is faith.

b) Rewards from God are the extras that follow salvation. Salvation is given freely to all who begin and continue to believe in Jesus Christ. It is not a reward.

c) Referring to this passage, what has God promised?

14) Hebrews 13:15

With Jesus’ help, let us continually offer our sacrifice of praise to God by proclaiming the glory of his name. (NLT)

Application:
a) Here is yet another verse (compare it with this post’s nos. 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, and 12 that show that sacrifices in the Old Testament were more than offering livestock.

b) Paul was writing to the Hebrews how Jesus Christ was the Lamb sacrificed to God and that animal sacrifices are no longer necessary.

c) Praying without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) is another way of continually offering sacrifices to God.

15) 1 Peter 2:5

And now you have become living building-stones for God’s use in building his house. What’s more, you are his holy priests; so come to him—you who are acceptable to him because of Jesus Christ—and offer to God those things that please him. (TLB)

Application:
a) In previous verses above in this blog post, we Christians are described as being “living sacrifices.” In this verse, however, we are called living stones for a building and as holy priests.

b) One function of the priest in the Old Testament was to offer sacrifices. In the New Testament, we are (now and in the future) priests who pray (prayers which rise like incense – Psalm 141:2;  Revelation 5:8)  and offer as sacrifice things that please God.

c) What are some of “those things that please Him” that we are to offer?

 

Holy Bible

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