Jesus doesn’t just appear in the pages of the New Testament. All of the Old Testament Scriptures are pointing to Jesus, with some of them being quite specific concerning the time that Jesus would be living on Earth.
Whether or not the New Testament writers explicitly point to how Jesus fulfilled those prophecies, they are all there for us to discover. It’s absolutely astounding!
Here are two graphics from The Infographic Bible and the Faithlife Illustrated Study Bible that will help you see some of these fulfilled prophecies in Christ’s First Advent. And there are still more prophecies that Jesus will fulfill in His any-day-now Second Advent!
Have you ever had someone walk into your life—even if it was just for a moment—and say something you needed to hear? You might not have liked what they had to say, but it was definitely something you needed to hear.
My hunch is that those timely messengers were not necessarily “experts” in the area in which they talked to you. They may have been a doctor talking about a medical need, or it may have been a friend talking about some health issues. Most of the time our valuable messengers are just everyday people.
God loves using “everyday people”!
You just have to be who God created you to be. And you have to be available. Like Amos.
Amos was simply taking care of his farm and his herds when God called him to deliver a timely message to His people.
Amos’ name means burden-bearer—he had a burden for his kinsmen. He saw their sin and knew what defiance of God would mean for them. This burden made him available to hear God’s voice say, “Go.”
“But I’m not a trained prophet,” Amos could have said. “You are telling me to ‘prophesy’ but all I really know is farming and shepherding.”
God said, “Say what you know.”
What did Amos know?
You can put your name in all three of those places that say Amos. You can know God’s voice through the Bible, you know your “business” (whether it’s parenting, or coaching, or your own profession), and you can hear God saying, “Go, tell people about Me.”
God wants to use you for His glory. He just needs your availability. Will you be open to being that person?
Join me next week as we continue to learn the major lessons from that the minor prophets teach us.
What is interesting to note about Joel’s writing is a recurring theme that goes something like this:
Foreshadowing (or prophetic foretelling) → Calling for a godly response → God’s blessing on a right response or God’s punishment on a wrong response → An outcome which foreshadows or foretells another more dire event → repeat…
For instance, in Joel’s prophesy the massive invasion of locusts was intended to get the Israelites to pay attention to their sins. Joel calls for fasting and repentance and warns (foreshadows/foretells) that an invading army at a later date would do even greater damage (1:2-14).
Likewise, the invading army—which would do more damage than the invading locusts—should also call the Israelites to repentance and imploring God for His help.
Jesus, just like Joel, taught that whether it was an evil man, an accident, or even a natural disaster, painful things should cause us to consider the state of our eternal soul (see Luke 13:1-5). And Jesus and Joel both foretell of the Day of the Lord when there will be no more opportunities for repentance.
To prepare God-fearing people for this dreadful day of the Lord, Joel foretells if the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. This is the same empowering Spirit that Jesus said would equip His followers to take the message of salvation to all four points of the compass (Acts 1:4-8). And just as Joel foretold 800 years earlier, on the first Pentecost Sunday after Christ’s ascension back into heaven, the Christians were baptized in the Holy Spirit, prompting Peter to quote an extension passage from Joel (compare Joel 2:28-32 with Acts 2:14-21).
Joel’s final chapter talks about Judgment Day, and about the multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision. Peter confronted his audience as well about the decision they should make to turn to Jesus as their Savior and Lord.
The Day of the Lord could come at any moment and millions around the world are still in the valley of decision. I find these words quite sobering—
“Someone asked, ‘Will the heathen who have never heard the Gospel be saved?’ It is more a question with me whether we—who have the Gospel and fail to give it to those who have not—can be saved.” —Charles Spurgeon
We are even closer to the Day of the Lord today than we were yesterday. What will you do?
Please join me this Sunday as we continue our series learning the major lessons from the minor prophets.
According to Paul, there are only two ways people can live: in the flesh or in the Spirit. That is—(1) operating separate from God, or (2) with a soul/body that is operating with God’s full involvement.
The trouble is: we’re always—as long as we’re alive—still in the flesh because we need these bodies to carry around our soul and spirit. But changes begin to occur first at salvation (when the connection of our spirit to God’s Spirit is reestablished), and even more so after being baptized in the Holy Spirit (when we are not trying to work out things on our own).
As a result, we have the same brain, but a mind that is being renewed; the same eyes, but insight that is being expanded; the same ears, but learning new ways to hear what the Holy Spirit is saying.
Remember that Jesus promised that the baptism in the Holy Spirit would empower us TO BE His witnesses (Acts 1:8). Not just to do things differently, but to have our spirit so enlivened by the Holy Spirit that we are living, breathing, walking, talking witnesses of a life transformed.
Have you noticed that there wasn’t a steep “learning curve” for the disciples of Jesus following Pentecost? Part of that is due to four key habits that the Holy Spirit helped form in their lives.
“Your life as a Christian should make unbelievers question their disbelief in God.” —Dietrich Bonhoeffer
Amen! Your life as a Christian that is living out daily habits that have been empowered by the Spirit should make everyone around you want to go deeper and deeper into all that the Holy Spirit has in store for them too.
Join me next Sunday as we take another look at what it means when we say We Are: Pentecostal.
I love studying the Bible! I enjoy reading it in different translations, consulting my atlas to see where certain events took place, studying the culture of the biblical settings, and even diving in to the Hebrew and Greek definitions of words. But I’ve never seen the biblical story portrayed as uniquely and so visually beautiful as Karen Sawrey has done it in The Infographic Bible.
The subtitle of this work is “visualizing the drama of God’s Word,” and Karen does this in ways you have never seen before.
The Infographic Bible flows in the same order as the Biblical text, except that there is very little text involved. You will see how the biblical books were compiled and then walk through God’s story in both the Old and New Testaments.
In graphics that typically span the full two-page spread (and sometimes even more), you will see in vivid colors, bold designs, and memorable graphics how God set about to redeem His people and tell His story. You will see the two Genesis accounts of Creation portrayed side-by-side, you will understand genealogies better by seeing their timelines flow through generations, you will appreciate the biblical themes and fulfilled prophesies, and you will look forward to the hope of things to come in Revelation.
There is so much to discover in this book! The Infographic Bible is a coffee-table-size book, and the beautiful graphics inside will definitely make it a conversation piece to leave on display for your guests. I commend Karen Sawrey for her outstanding work, and I highly recommend this book to you.