Sunday, May 31, 2015


I'm posting a blog post that my Internet and Kingdom friend, Aussie John [his blog handle from down under] posted on his own blog which I will link to at the end of this article. I know you will enjoy it as much as I did.

Aussie J writes...

I have quoted Isaiah 42:6 previously to draw attention to the fact of our Lord Jesus being revealed by Isaiah as the covenant person.

E. J. Young, commenting on that same passage says this:

The lan­guage is strik­ing, for the ser­vant is actu­ally iden­ti­fied as a covenant.  A covenant, how­ever, in this instance is not a pact or agree­ment between two equal par­ties. From the par­al­lel word light (i.e. sal­va­tion), we learn that it is actu­ally a divine bestowal of Grace. God sov­er­eignly bestows to man His bless­ings of sal­va­tion and it is this sov­er­eign dis­pen­sa­tion that is called a covenant.
That the ser­vant is iden­ti­fied with the covenant of course involves the idea of his being the one through whom the covenant is medi­ated, but the expres­sion implies more. In form it is sim­i­lar to our Lord’s “I am the res­ur­rec­tion and the life,” or the phrase in 49:6, “to be my sal­va­tion.””

These next words are vitally important for us to understand:

To say that the ser­vant is a covenant is to say that all the bless­ings of the covenant have their root and ori­gin in, and are dis­pensed by him. … “

We know that Moses was the medi­a­tor of a covenant between God and Israel, but the prophet Isaiah is telling us that the ser­vant (Jesus Christ) is the covenant, the New Covenant promised in Isaiah 49:6,8; 31:31ff.

As Young says,

In New Tes­ta­ment terms, this means that they to whom God sov­er­eignly bestows the grace of sal­va­tion receive the ser­vant Himself.”

Whilst, I dare say, a majority of those claiming to be Christians, are filling their lives and their time with the busy-ness of the demands of traditional ideas of church, trying, but failing miserably at keeping the commandments ( don't you dare tell fibs and claim you don't break at least one every day), attending meetings, putting money in the plate, doing all the rote things expected of them and expressed by pulpits all over the world, which according to a couple we spoke with, “pleases God”, some, at least, are resting in what God has done in His precious Son completed on Calvary, and in whom His pleasure is absolute!

That's the context of what Paul is saying to the Colossian Christians:

Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions for the sake of his body, that is, the church, of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God that was given to me for you, to make the word of God fully known, the mystery hidden for ages and generations but now revealed to his saints. 
To them God chose to make known how great among the Gentiles are the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.

This is what the New Covenant is all about! Paul knew from his own experience of law based attempts at living a righteous, works oriented life, that failure to please God was the only way for normal human beings. The nation Israel had the same experience, because“the mystery hidden for ages and generations” was a still a mystery until God fulfilled the promise made in Isaiah 42:6:

I am the LORD; I have called you in righteousness; I will take you by the hand and keep you;I will give you as a covenant for the people, a light for the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,from the prison those who sit in darkness.”

It was not until the New Covenant was inaugurated by the finished work of Christ on Calvary that the latter part of that promise was fulfilled. That's why Jesus could exclaim, “It is finished”!

If you and I had to depend on how well we carried out the duties which have been traditionally demanded from the pulpits of traditionalism since Constantine's day, not one human being would see Christ on His throne, because traditionalism relegates Christ to the level of an entrance ticket to heaven, after a lifetime of the hard yards of rule keeping.

In reality His finished work as the New Covenant Person means that He is the absolute, and only means of new life; He IS the New Covenant complete in all of the majesty of a God who put aside His own glory to become the man, Jesus Christ, our Covenant Person.

No wonder Paul told those who had believed the truth of the Gospel in repentance and faith, have had revealed to them “the riches of the glory of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”

Thanks Aussie J! A GREAT word indeed. You can read more Aussie J here...

Paul B.

Monday, May 18, 2015


I heard a phrase one time that intrigued me to no end. The phrase is "celebrate the ordinary." It was used to show how ordinary things can be turned into an adventure rather than waiting for only "extraordinary things" to happen. Who experiences many "extraordinary things"anyway?  Much of daily living is lived in experiencing mundane often boring things that are more routine than exciting.

What "celebrating the ordinary" does is it keeps us appreciating what we have and are presently experiencing rather than always hoping something will happen that is exciting. It keeps us from wondering what we're missing out on in life. We're not missing out on anything. That's the point. Life is fun and appreciated where we are and with what is happening.

It is very similar to the old idea of "stop and smell the roses." Some people live their life without ever really enjoying their life at all. They may even miss seeing what they have and waste their time longing for what they think other people have or are afraid they have missed out on. What a waste of time and energy and of life itself.

Mary and I HAVE had extraordinary times together. We've pastored large, exciting churches as well as small ones some of which were just as thrilling. We've traveled in ministry to more places than either of us can count. We've gone to meetings sponsored by the multi-billion dollar Corporation for which she once worked. We've traveled to places like Hawaii, Israel, London, Egypt, and last year Greece, not to mention trips on our motorcycle to Colorado, Bear Tooth pass in Montana, Yellowstone and Jackson Hole Wyoming. Those trips can ONLY be described as extraordinary when you're on a motorcycle. Add to that the REALLY extraordinary events we've shared like the birth/marriages of children and grandchildren and who's to doubt that some really great things have been experienced by the two of us.

But, generally our days are presently made up of the ordinary and it is the celebration of those times that make life far more exciting. This is true especially now as age begins to dictate the slowing down of extraordinary times/events. In fact, the older one gets the more likely it is that attending funerals and going to doctors become more common place than do weddings and births or travel and sight-seeing.

This is when having learned to "celebrate the ordinary " comes into play. But I do think it takes learning this early in life rather than later on. You don't magically wake up one day doing it. It takes a commitment, time, and it takes a lot of practice when you're young and starting on your journey.

I could give a myriad of personal and present examples by telling about things like our noon dip in the pool. About 11:00 am we eat a good lunch sitting in our recliners, watching a couple of good hour shows recorded in the past few days. Then we adjourn to the pool and walk 20 times around, 10 with her leading and 10 with me leading. Then we float, we sun, we read, and finally go inside to the computers.

I could tell of our forgetting things as we get older but celebrate it by jokingly saying "There she goes," meaning she's losing it or "There he goes," depending on which one forgot something. This, instead of dreading getting older or getting upset that we are. We just are! And we are forgetful! "Celebrate it" is our motto. And we do.

I could even tell you about the moment we get in bed every night and Mary snuggles in close to my back. There is a small thing she says that makes me laugh every time. I will leave unshared what she says since it is personal and of a nature that would draw a censure from some I'm sure. But what do they know!! They just need to get a life, I'm thinking!    ;)

We started learning this "celebrating life" concept several years ago when we would take trips and Mary would navigate while I drove. We'd REALLY get upset and even fight if given wrong instructions or if we made wrong turns or whatever. One day we decided we would travel with a new philosophy. it was simply this! "There are no mistakes, only different ways of going and doing things we hadn't planned on. So we'll celebrate the unplanned." [Mistakes]

You ought to try it sometime. It will revolutionize any trip you take together. 

It carried over into other things for us and most little things, even ordinary things, have become an adventure. We've truly found that "Celebrating the ordinary" can be a great thing.

Try it sometime. But you have to be able and willing to laugh a lot. Especially at yourself!

Paul B.