Sealed

Posted on March 18th, by admin in thinking. Comments Off on Sealed

“In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise,”
‭‭Ephesians‬ ‭1:13‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

I haven’t visited this passage for a while but found myself being drawn to it this morning. It is reassuring and comforting to read the promise of being sealed by the Holy Spirit, but part of that comes from knowing what sealing means.

The sealing that Paul is talking about is the mark of identification often placed upon important documents to show authenticity, ownership and authority. The seal was usually made from hot wax and then impressed with a signet ring. Thereby identifying the document with the owner of the ring.

As a believer, the Holy Spirit is the seal of my salvation. He marks us as belonging to the Lord, by His authority, an eternal security. It is difficult to reconcile this image with the idea that some have that we can lose our salvation. But it is images like this that assure me of the amazing grace that is from the Lord in salvation. It is His work and not mine. It is not by my effort that … Read More »

Advent ~ day 24 ~ Christmas Eve

Posted on December 24th, by admin in Advent devotions, thinking. Comments Off on Advent ~ day 24 ~ Christmas Eve

On Christmas Eve in 1865, Philip Brooks, a minister of Holy Trinity Church in Philadelphia, travelled through the fields from Jerusalem to Bethlehem. He wrote about this journey:

“After and early dinner, we took our horses and rode to Bethlehem. It was only about two hours when we came to the town, situated on an eastern ridge of a range of hills, surrounded by its terraced gardens. It is a good-looking town, better build than any other we have seen in Palestine. . . . Before dark, we rode out of town to the field, where they say the shepherds saw the star. It is a fenced piece of ground with a cave in it (all the Holy Places are caves here), in which, strangely enough, they put the shepherds. The story is absurd, but somewhere in those fields we rode through the shepherds must have been. . . . As we passed, the shepherds were still ‘keeping watch over their flocks,’ “or leading them home to fold.”

They followed the path of the shepherds into Bethlehem and assisted in a midnight service at the Church of the Nativity. He wrote of this service : “I remember standing in the old church … Read More »

Advent ~ day 23 ~ Magi part 3

Posted on December 23rd, by admin in Advent devotions, thinking. Comments Off on Advent ~ day 23 ~ Magi part 3

When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way. (‭Matthew‬ ‭2‬:‭10-12‬ NASB)

As we said yesterday, the Magi did the only appropriate thing when they found Jesus, they worshipped and gave gifts. The famous gifts of Gold, Fankincense and Myrrh, each have their own prophetic symbolism.

Gold is a precious metal and very valuable. It is used as a standard through out the world and is still used in trading. It is likely that Mary and Joseph used this to finance their journey to Egypt. It is symbolic of Jesus’ divinity and kingship.

Frankincense is a white resin or gum. It is highly fragrant and was used in worship (Exodus 30:34). Frankincense is a symbol of holiness and righteousness. The gift of frankincense to Jesus is symbolic of our worship to Him.

Myrrh is a spice used in embalming, a bitter perfume … Read More »

Advent ~ day 22 ~ The Magi, part 2

Posted on December 22nd, by admin in Advent devotions, thinking. Comments Off on Advent ~ day 22 ~ The Magi, part 2

And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the Child; and when you have found Him, report to me, so that I too may come and worship Him.” After hearing the king, they went their way; and the star, which they had seen in the east, went on before them until it came and stood over the place where the Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshiped Him. Then, opening their treasures, they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. And having been warned by God in a dream not to return to Herod, the magi left for their own country by another way. (‭Matthew‬ ‭2‬:‭8-12‬ NASB)

As I look at the Magi story again, we see a profound statement phrase uttered by Herod, “Go and search carefully for the child”. Even from un-sanctified lips God releases words that have life. But this is typical of God, He is not limited by man and their degree of sanctification (that is not an excuse to sin but … Read More »