First Pres Joliet

A Daily Devotional from our faith community @



Faith Like Moses


Psalms 72

Exodus 3: 1-5

Hebrews 11: 23-31


Hebrews 11:23  “By faith Moses, parents hid him for three months, …and they were not afraid of the Kings edict.”

Hebrews 11:25  Moses..”Chose rather to endure ill treatment with the children of YHVH than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, considering the ‘contumelies’ of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Egypt.”   Obviously I have used a rather archaic word here, ‘contumely,’  rather than the word ‘reproaches,’ as found in your Bible, because it conveys a stronger meaning.  Contumely is defined as “contemptuous rudeness, humiliating treatment, a scornful insult.”  Moses would rather be scolded severely by Christ, than enjoy the obscene wealth, and elite entitlement of Egypt.  I find it fascinating that the writer here places the faith of Moses who lived centuries before Jesus, equal with the same faith we have today in this same Jesus.  The Cross of Christ being the focal point of all history.  Moses was one whom YHVH revealed the Word of God, the Law of God to.  Before Moses, Israel was only a family, rather large mind you, and only after God calls Moses and delivers them from bondage do they become a nation, a people of God’s own choosing.

Moses was surely a type of Christ, who was raised with wealth, beyond our imagination, and yet made the choice to endure poverty in order to secure freedom for his people.  2 Corinthians 8.9 ” For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich.”  Moses, in obedience to God, by faith approached the Pharaoh of Egypt with the demand “Let my people go.”  He then put the blood of a lamb on the door posts and headers of his home, in hopes of warding off the Angel of death.  He then led Israel to Mount Horeb in Arabia to receive the Commandments of God.  By faith Moses, being a type of Christ, trusted Christ, without ever even imagining such grace.

Moses delivered God’s Law to Israel.  How could he imagine that Israel would not be able to obey that Law, how could he imagine that the Law would not enable them to obey, and thus prove nothing more than to reveal their sin.  Moses was a type, a promise, an example, a prophecy of a Savior, a deliverer.  By faith Moses saw the future, he saw Jesus, he regarded His chastisement as better than the wealth of this world.  Moses was a promissory note, an I O U, of a payment due.  Jesus was the full payment, the actual bullion.   Moses was a physical example of what Jesus would then fulfill as a Spiritual reality.

In the Exodus passage Moses comes upon the burning bush, and regards it with faith, hearing the word of God and by faith obeys the instruction given.  To be called to face your enemy, the most powerful man on earth, and make ridiculous demands of him who could snuff you out like a candle, requires a view of God, beyond intellectual assentation. It requires a saving faith.  A faith beyond rescue, a faith above hope, a faith of complete dependance.  Before God had even revealed a coming Messiah, a Savior, Moses trusted in Him.

It’s always good to be reminded that we have a loving God, who by His grace and mercy has provided us with a salvation that is a surety.  From ages past and for ages to come Jesus is our deliverer.  A Savior in whom we can surely trust.


What’s Makes You So Special?



Psalms 148

Isaiah 49:8-23

Matt 18:1-14


In each of these passages from the Scriptures we are told that Jehovah is Great!  Psalm 148 invokes all of creation to praise Jehovah. From the heavens, to the animals, to the trees, to the angels in heaven, all creation, including mankind are to praise Jehovah.  In my classes that I teach at church, I always ask the question, “What has God been doing in your life this week?”  The point being, how aware are you daily of God’s interference in your comings and goings?  He, Jehovah is concerned about you, what you are doing, what you are facing, and what your awareness of Him in your life is.  Do you notice?  If we stop to notice, it’s amazing how involved He is, and worthy of our acknowledgement. The God of all creation cares, He really cares!

Matthew 18:10 reveals that, yes, God cares enough for each of us that He has appointed an angel to each of us for our good, who sees the face of God on our behalf daily.  We are not alone, but have in essence, a guardian who cares for us, appointed by God.

Isaiah 49. 8 is a prophetic statement spoken that is revealed in 2 Corinthians 6:2, by Paul concerning the Grace of God.  Grace is an enabling attribute of God that comes to us in the form of a free gift from God.  Love drew salvations plan, but it was grace that brought it to mankind.  Love initiated the plan of salvation, grace implemented that action.  Ephesians 2.8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”  Grace is a gift of God, and Paul tells us it is the ongoing gift of God.  All the riches of God in the heavenliness are available to us as we need them, all we must do is ask.  Isaiah 49: 8 “Thus says the LORD, ‘In a favorable time I have answered you; And in a day of salvation I have helped You;’ ”  Quoting this passage Paul says it concerns the grace of God, thus continuing the thought that “Now is ‘the favorable time’ and “Now is ‘the day of salvation.’ ”  So the grace of God is always available to us, for it is always “Now.”

Friends, remember, God cares for you, and God provides for you.  Cry out for His help, He loves you more that you can imagine.


The Holy Word



Isaiah.7: 10-16

Psalms 80: 1-7, 17-19

Romans 1:1-7

Isaiah 7. 10-16  Snippets of scripture without the context in which they are written are only as good as any other adage, or proverb, or idiom.  In this text from Isaiah we have the prophecy of the the virgin birth of the promised Messiah, verse 14.  In the context of the time it was written, Ahaz is King of Judah, in a civil war with Israel, and a man without faith, verse 9.  God speaks to him again and offers him any sign he may desire but Ahaz refuses, and Jehovah is perturbed with him but gives a prophecy anyway, of the coming Messiah who is to come centuries later.  Such a prophecy is of little use to Ahaz who is in the midst of his own current dilemma.

Psalms 80: 1-7, 17-19   The word of God in these passages are written as songs and short prayers, and words of wisdom, unique to the rest of the scriptures that are historic and prophetic, revealing who Jehovah is and His plan for Israel and mankind.   As Psalms 80 starts we see a beautiful reference to Jehovah as Israel’s Shepherd, who is symbolically enthroned between the Cherubim on the Mercy seat of the Ark of the Covenant, a reference to times past. The northern tribes of Israel are in exile to Assyria, and Judah is exiled to Babylon, and the cry is for Jehovah to restore His people and to make His face to once again shine upon them.  Send someone, like a Moses to rescue us from our bondage and we will serve you forever, is the final cry from this psalm.  God did and His name was Jesus.

Romans 1.1-7  Paul describes himself as a servant of the promised Savior.  Ahaz did not understand the prophecy given to him.   Judah didn’t understand their own request for a deliverer when they were exiled.  At the time of their visitation, the appearance of Jesus, the nation of Israel, the religious leaders, priests and Sanhedren did not recognize their savior.  Jesus was to be recognized by His power in healing and miraculous works, by His holiness, and surely by His sacrifice and resurrection, all of which were prophesied in the scriptures.

All of these men of old missed the obvious, yet obscured signs, because of the hardness of their hearts, even when Jesus was among them.  We then who have the perfect vision of hindsight, should have no problem understanding the word and works of God in our midst.  We who are saved by grace through faith in Jesus the Son of God, should not take lightly the scriptures, the Word of God, but study to understand and show ourselves approved unto God, workmen who need not be ashamed, rightly understanding the word of truth.  2 Timothy 2:15

Just a note of personal update on life for us in Missouri, for those back home in Joliet. The Lord’s ministry is flourishing here.  At Open Range Church, our home church, my Saturday night class is continually growing, a door is now open for teaching at the Abundant Life Bible study we attend, I get to preach on a scheduled basis at church and lives are being changed in many walks of life, including Walnut Waters, our Bed and Breakfast.  “The Word of God is living and active, …and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of our hearts.”  I pray that all is well back home, I surely miss you guys.


Old Things Have Passed Away



2 Corinthians 6. 17

Luke 4. 16-19

Luke 10. 25-37


Paul was writing to the church at Corinth explaining to them the essence of the New Covenant as opposed to the Hebraic old covenant, as stated by Paul, not in relation to the eight Covenants of Jehovah to the nation Israel, but as a common understanding of the requirements of the Law of Moses.  The old covenant that he refers to is self effort in the attempt to keep the Law as is required to merit favor with God.  This law of Moses, Paul tells us in Galations 3.24, was sent to Israel as a tutor to lead them to Christ, so they could be justified by faith, not by works.  No matter how hard they tried no one could keep all the points of the Law, though the Pharisees came close in their self discipline, they failed in the larger areas, like pride, compassion, and love.

So as Jesus started His ministry in Luke 4.16, He entered the synagogue and stood up to read, from Isaiah 61.1 ” The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor.  He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives. Is.35.5 And recovery of sight to the blind. Is. 58.6 To set free those who are oppressed. Is. 61.2 To proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” It’s important to note that He left out the last half of this last verse which says, ” And the day of vengeance of our God.”  In Israels way of thinking, one can’t have the full blessing of God with out the destruction of their enemies.  This story in Luke 4 reveals this, as this synagogue tried to push Jesus off a cliff in verse 29.

Now in Luke 10.25-37 Jesus is faced with a lawyer trying to put Him to the test, saying ” Teacher what must I do to inherit eternal life?”  Jesus says “what do you think?”  He answers, ” You shall love the lord your God with heart, soul, strength, and mind, and your neighbor as your self.”  Jesus, ” you answered well.” The man, “Well then who is my neighbor?”

To the Jewish mind, a neighbor can only be a fellow Jew.  Gentiles are not in the equation at all.  So Jesus answered with the story of the Good Samaritan:  A man is on his way to Jericho and is beaten and stripped of his clothes and money, and left unconscience. A priest traveling the road sees the man but cannot help because of ceremonial restrictions of cleanliness.  A Levite following also has similar restrictions, along with political reasons too, so he passes by with out helping.  Next comes a Samaritan, who stops and helps the man. ( Samaritans are hated by the Jews because they were half breeds of the Jews, they worshipped in the wrong locations, worshipped idols, and rewrote the Torah to accommodate their positions).  This Samaritan then dresses his wounds, takes him to an Inn, and pays for his well being.  Jesus then asks the lawyer who was the neighbor to this man?  The Lawyer says,”the one who showed mercy toward him.”

Jesus quickly revealed to this man that the true relationship that God wants is for us to “Love God with all your heart, soul, strength, mind, and your neighbor, and your enemy.”  This new requirement of the Law, revealed by Jesus,  just put the demands of the Law completely out of reach for even the most disciplined man, and proved what Paul said it would do.  The Law was a tutor to show us we need a Savior, and when we cry out to that Savior, Jesus Christ, for help, for salvation, we then are no longer the same, but are born again, and made new creations in Christ.

2 Corinthians 5.17 ” Therefore if any man is in Christ he is a new creature; behold old things have passed away; behold new things have come.”   God brought us into harmony with Himself at the cross of Jesus, we who were in discord, are now in harmony with Him, the Creator of the universe.





















Working Together With Him


2 Corinthians 6.1


A fascinating passage in this Pauline epistle is Chapter 6 verse 1. “And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain.”  Very simply the context in which this is written is, the Greek believers in Corinth are struggling with what is acceptable behavior.  They have come to accept some blatantly wayward, fleshly concepts, that are unacceptable to God.  Just as in the church today, as time goes by the habits and culture of this world start to seep into the church.  Pre-marital sex, adulteries, pride, arrogance about the forgiveness of sin, grace being abused, alcohol being abused, tolerance for sin in general is rampant.  Paul addresses each issue and the pleads with the Church to be reconciled to God, to be brought back into harmony with God in His holiness, and purity.    2 Cor. 5.17 ” If any one is in Christ he is a new creation, the old things have passed away. behold all things are new.”  2 Cor.5.21 For ” He made Him who new no sin, to be sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”

We, who are believers, are new creatures. and are made righteous, which includes holiness, and purity.  Then Paul declares that He is in partnership with Jehovah, the Creator and King of the Universe, working together with Him, and as we are being brought back into harmony with God: A. it is a privilege to be a part of God’s kingdom, “We are new creations,”  B. it is by desire to please Him that we serve completely, we are not along for the ride but on the team, C.  with integrity, and holiness we never discredit the ministry.

As believers in the Messiah of Israel, we are plugged into God’s grace, filled with His love, led by the Holy Spirit, sensitive to His leading, in communion with Him daily, and fed by His Word.

Galations 3.3 “Are you so foolish, having begun by the Spirit are you now being perfected by the flesh?”   I don’t think so, but let us be on guard to be aware that the world and the satan are constantly trying to infiltrate, deceive, confuse, and disrupt our lives both at home and in the church.  Ephesians 6.10 “Finally brethern be strong in the Lord and the strength of His might,” in this new Year.

With Love, Karl

John 1.14


John 1.14   “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”  The Word as identified here is Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, as stated earlier in this chapter, “the Word was with God and the Word was God.  He was in the beginning with God.”  Jesus was not created by God, but was in fact God.  As the scriptures teach, we worship a Triune God, who is the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.  Jesus who came in the form of man, in the flesh, according to Philippians 2.6-8 “although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bondservant, and being made in the likeness of men.  Being found in appearance of a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”  This is also known as the humility of Christ, as He humbled Himself to be born of a woman, and then humbled Himself to die, even the humiliating death of a sinner, a criminals death on a cross.

This is a perplexing concept that the immortal could become mortal, and that the immortal then could somehow die.  This a part of the mystery that the angels longed to look into, how can it be?  But we know from scripture that it did happen, the Christ was born of humble means and lived without sin, though tempted in all ways as we are, yet without falling into sin.  Therefore He can sympathize with us who do fall into sin, He understands the temptations we face, and He cares.

John then says that, ” we beheld His glory,” John saw it with Peter, and James on the Mount of transfiguration, Matt.17.2.   Jesus glowed, He outshined everything imaginable, shining like the sun and these three guys saw it and wrote about it, 2 Peter 16-18 .  There was no question that He was the Son of God.  In addition to the miracles and healings that they witnessed Jesus doing, they saw Him Glorified.

And full of Grace and truth.  Love is the enduring attribute of God that drew up the plan for the salvation of man.  John 3.16 ” For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son.”  Grace is the enabling attribute of God that brought it down to man. Ephesians 2.8 “For by grace you have been saved  through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.”  Grace is a gift, it takes on many forms, and is the blessings of all the wealth of God in the heavenlies, at our disposal, for our use in righteousness.   John 1.16  Jesus was full of grace and truth, and ” of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.”  This statement is made for us to realize that we can never run out of grace.  It is endless, the coffers in God’s storehouse are full and all we must do is call upon Him and He freely gives us His grace.  In a builders world Love is the blueprint, and Grace is the building of the structure.  God’s love sent Jesus, full of grace to implement the workings of salvation.  Then He left the Spirit to lead us, and be our advocate, and gave us a storehouse of grace as often as we need, for our use.

We serve a Living God who provides for us everything.


The Old and the New


Hebrews 12: 28-29


Heb.12:28  starts with, “Therefore, since we have a Kingdom which cannot be shaken, …” The writer here has been explaining for his audience, which are Hebrew, and know from memory of life experience and history the covenants of Jehovah with Israel.  There are seven such covenants ranging from Adam through David, and finally through the prophets an eighth covenant, which Jeremiah has called simply, a New Covenant, Jer. 31:31.

All of the old covenants were performance based, “if you, then I.”  Finally Jehovah revealed a covenant which was solely God based, which we understand to be grace, a gift.  Jer. 31:33, “I will put my law within them and on their hearts I will write it; and I will be their God and they shall be my people.”  Jehovah reiterates this in the prophet Ezekiel 36: 26 ” Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in my statutes…”

This New Covenant was to be implemented through the sacrifice of the perfect Lamb of God, Jesus the Son of God.  So as we understand it, God offered himself, through His son to us for the forgiveness of sin, the gift of everlasting life, and an advocate in this life, the Holy Spirit which indwells all who believe.  This is the New Covenant, a spiritual covenant, not commands in the flesh without any enabling to keep those commands,  but rather an indwelling desire for Holiness, through the Holy Spirit placed inside us, which also empowers us to obedience and service.  His grace supplies all of our needs, for grace is an enabling attribute of Jehovah.

The Kingdom spoken in this passage from Hebrews is now Spiritual, not physical, as compared earlier in the text as Mount Sinai, where Moses received the ten Commandments, to Mount Moriah, where Jerusalem was built, and Jesus was crucified. So we can symbolically see the difference of the physical versus the Spiritual.  On the night of the last supper, where Jesus ate with His disciples in the upper room, He said of the bread “this is my body which is broken for you,” and of the wine, “this cup is the New Covenant in my blood..”

Hebrews 12: 28  “Therefore, since we receive  a Kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude, by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe;  for our God is a consuming fire.”  This last line of God being a consuming fire is in reference to Mount Sinai, where the entire mountain that Moses ascended, to receive the Commandments, was ablaze. Hebrews 12:18.   We don’t have that fear the Israelites had in the wilderness, for the wrath of God has been assuaged by the acceptable sacrifice of Jesus, the very Son of God.  Fear is no longer the motivator for obedience for God’s people, but rather the love of God.

Romans 12.1  ” Therefore, I urge you brethren, by the mercies of God to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service of worship.”

The love of God was first revealed in the town of Bethlehem, through a virgin, in a manger, to shepherds, who saw an angelic display of God’s glory, and in obedience to their instructions, saw the Son of God.


A Star Out Of Jacob


Numbers 24.17

1 Peter 1.10

Numbers 24.17  “I shall see Him, but not now;  I shall behold Him, but not near;  There shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Scepter shall rise out of Israel,” and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth.

This is one of those great prophetic passages that the prophets saw and heard from Jehovah, telling of the coming Messiah, yet they had little idea of the depth of what they were seeing or saying.   1 Peter 1.10 says, “as to this salvation the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you, made careful searches and inquiries, seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating ….”   This prophecy in Numbers was through the prophet Balaam.  You know the story , Balaam, who tried to sit on the fence and speak only what Jehovah said to him, but tried also to make a little profit from it, from King Balak of Moab.  Yet Balaam, in prophesying of Israel’s coming victory over Moab revealed that he saw the Messiah, but His time was not now, and he saw that at some point in time he would see this Savior, but the time was not near.  Yet there was a Star coming, and a Ruler was to arise out of Israel.  He could see it, he didn’t understand, but there it is right in front of his eyes.

Friends, the outrageous idea that the immortal could become mortal, the eternal one could become flesh, is so marvelous it’s almost unbelievable.  How could the Creator become a creation.  Balaam saw it from afar and recognized its marvel.



The Sheep Of His Pasture


Psalms 119.176

Isaiah 53.6

Psalms 100.3


Psalms 100.3 declares that Israel, the chosen people of Jehovah, the ones set apart to receive God’s word for mankind, are to know Jehovah.  They are to become intimate with Him, to not only be familiar with His Law, but to know the story behind it, as to why God has chosen them and what His requirements mean.  ” Know ye that the LORD, He is God; it is He that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of His Pasture.”  And by proxy we, as gentiles grafted into the root and vine of Israel, are also His sheep.

Isaiah 53.6 states that as the sheep of His pasture, ” all we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned everyone to his own way.”

Psalms 119.176.  In like manner the psalmist declares personally that “I have gone astray like a lost sheep.  Seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy Commandments.”  Here we have a shift in perspective from the corporate to the individual.  In the Israeli sacrifice system there is a sacrifice of Atonement, which is corporal, a national feast, and there is a sacrifice of Passover, which is personal.  In Atonement a goat is sacrificed for the sins of Israel, and in Passover the blood of the lamb is individually spread on the door posts and headers of each dwelling.

Isaiah 53.6 continues that; “we have turned every to his own way, and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”  Prophetically speaking about the Messiah, the Christ, Isaiah has revealed that a savior is to come who will bear our sins and our sorrows upon Himself and like the sheep that we are, Vs. 7,He would go to slaughter like a lamb, with out saying a word of protest.  Vs. 4, “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted.”  As our Savior was redeeming us from our sins, in the very act of it, we stood there and watched thinking it only the right thing to do, understanding nothing of the magnitude of His sacrifice.

John 10.11 Jesus declares that He alone is the good shepherd, ” I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.  But he that is a hireling, and not the shepherd whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep, and flees; and the wolf catches them and scatters the flock.”

In this season of Advent, we remember the Saviors entrance into this world of flesh.  We also understand the reason He came, how He humbled Himself to become a man, lived amongst us, bore our sins upon Himself, conquered death, and rose again to eternal life, so that we could be redeemed from the curse placed upon Adam, and have the hope, the promise of eternal life for all who believe.



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