We begin our Christian life with utter delight and simplicity. But as tradition, religion, others' expectations, and too many activities begin to pile on top of what was originally there, the simplicity gets lost.
The Promised Land. The land of milk and honey. The Holy Land. This piece of real estate goes by many names. And although it’s barely bigger than the state of New Jersey, hardly a day goes by that something newsworthy doesn’t happen in this geographical area.
Jesus marked this land’s significance for all time by making it His earthly homeland. He wept over it, healed many of its inhabitants, mastered its nature, and made predictions about its future. Today, thousands of His followers trace His steps every year and see their lives change as a result.
How does it benefit us to become familiar with the layout and distinctions of Israel? You’d be surprised how your understanding of biblical events is sharpened when you consider the geography in which these key historical events occurred. These resources will help insert you into the scenes as you absorb the rich history of the land fashioned and chosen by God Himself.
While the law was a covenantal gift to God’s people, it is not our covenant law as Christians. We live under the new covenant, so interpreting the old covenant law can be challenging at times.
While I visited many historic and beautiful locations, two rather lonely places were especially significant, adding depth to the biblical narratives: Caesarea Philippi and the garden of Gethsemane.
On a recent tour of Israel, my wife and I went to this hill to hear anew the familiar expressions of “Blessed are” preached by Chuck Swindoll. But there, on the Mount of Beatitudes, it was what I saw, more than what I heard, that really demonstrated the power of Jesus’ words.
Like the apostles, we live during the same in-between time and have been equipped with their apostolic testimony recorded in Scripture and clothed with the same Spirit of power to carry out the same plan of reaching the world with Jesus’ message.
Both Judaism and Christianity have the same Old Testament. The essential difference is that Christians accept Jesus as the Messiah and their personal Saviour while Jews do not.
When we consult the Scriptures further we see that God does not explicitly command against war or against the taking of another’s life. Murder, which is different than killing, is explicitly condemned.
For this study, reflect on what you’ve learned and how it relates to your current season of life. Simply pause. Don’t rush. Churn the passage over in your mind and pray in light of what you read. Ask God to seal His Word in your heart.