The Daily Link: Who Is Jesus Christ?

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Jesus Christ is the greatest masterpiece, the object of God’s affection and esteem. God calls upon humans to see Christ through His eyes. “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased” (Matthew 3:17, King James Bible). For the first time, God had an object on earth that perfectly reflected Him. Peter records the believer’s response to God’s call, “Unto you therefore which believe he is precious” (1 Peter 2:7, King James Bible). Humans in fellowship with God look at the same object – Christ. God also sees humanity in Christ, the perfect man, and He is pleased with it because Jesus Christ represents humanity in its ideal. 

Furthermore, Jesus is God’s logos, or word, which means He is God’s expression, become flesh (John 1:1, 14, King James Bible). God loves to communicate, and Jesus Christ is God’s most fabulous word to humanity. Through Christ, we hear God. The Lord Jesus announced the nearness of God’s Kingdom, proclaimed its principles, lived in perfection, and then died and rose again to ensure its reality on earth. Christ is the invisible God’s image, representing God’s ultimate dominion over creation (Colossians 1:15). Through Christ, we see God. 

Additionally, Christ is the firstborn of all creation and the firstborn from the dead, which means He is responsible for the universe and its beings (Colossians 1:15, 18, King James Bible). Christ will restore beings and their environment as the firstborn, eliminating every trace of sin and its consequences. God’s kingdom will embrace all families of the earth according to the promise to Abraham in Genesis 12. Peter confessed Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God, and Thomas admitted from his knees that Jesus is his Lord and God (Matthew 16, John 20, King James Bible). Christ, through His cross, abolishes death, for “as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive (1 Corinthians 15:22, King James Bible). 

The Christian worldview sees beyond the current wars, disease, and strife to the future world established by the Lord Jesus Christ, the humbled one Who is now exalted. Jesus is exclusively the true and living way to God, the sole provider of Redemption, Resurrection, and Restoration. 

The Daily Link: What is Man?

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The incomparable Creator-God’s crowning achievement is humanity. God created man last because he is the center and head of the world that He made. According to Genesis 1:26, God created man in His image and likeness, which Scripture defines in the same verse when describing man’s dominion. Man, like God, is to rule, but only God is the ultimate sovereign. Man is below God but above the animals, which is why in verse 27, God repeats three times that He created humanity in His image.

God created man to be productive and use His resources to His glory, putting him into the garden to dress it and keep it safe. In short, man was created to glorify God in his work and keep evil influences out of his realm. God also created man with the ability to think, reason, and communicate with Himself and other humans. He gave Adam the responsibility to classify the animals, which meant he had to study them and provide them with a name suitable to their natures. God also designed humans to be social creatures, which is why He made the woman. Under God, husband and wife were to manage God’s resources, raise a family, and pass God’s truth to the next generation. Humanity is God’s masterpiece, which leads us to the greatest masterpiece of all, the Lord Jesus Christ. We’ll talk about Him next.

The Daily Link: Who Is God?

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God is the premiere person and ultimate reality in the universe. The Bible begins and ends with God. “In the beginning God…then cometh the end…that God may be all in all” (Genesis 1:1, 1 Corinthians 15: 24, 28, King James Bible). God is the Creator-Redeemer. Creation came out of God, history moves along in terms of His redemptive plan, and that plan will successfully conclude when God becomes everything to everyone. In short, God is sovereign, which means He governs what He created.

Unlike the disinterested gods of the nations, God loves humanity, is intimately involved in its activities and reveals Himself to it through the dual revelation of nature and Sacred Scripture. God is greater than His creation (Job 36:26, King James Bible), which means He is outside and over it. God is also good. According to Noah Webster, in his 1828 dictionary, God and good are written the same in the Saxon language (Webster, 1828). The English word “God” is Anglo-Saxon, and they saw God and good as correlative terms, the source of all human happiness. The Hebrew word translated God is Elohim, a plural noun, a Hebrew figure of speech known as the Plural of Majesty, which speaks of the glory, the greatness, the goodness, the love, the righteousness, and the sovereignty of the one true and living God. God has no equal.

The Daily Link: God’s Love Means Twins

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“Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (KJV, Matthew 22:37-39).

Biblical faith is about love for God and our neighbors. The Lord Jesus said the second commandment looks like the first. Love for God looks like love for one’s neighbor – they’re twins. What’s a neighbor? People in your sphere of influence.

“We receive Christ not only as a gift by faith, but also as an example of love toward our neighbor, whom we are to serve as Christ serves us. Faith brings and gives Christ to you with all his possessions. Love gives you to your neighbor with all your possessions. These two things constitute a true and complete Christian life; then follow suffering and persecution for such faith and love, and out of these grows hope and patience” (Martin Luther).

“God is very good to us…Let us enjoy His favors with a thankful and cheerful heart; and, as we can make no direct return to Him, [let us] show our sense of his goodness to us by continuing to do good to our fellow-creatures, without regarding the returns they make us, whether good or bad. For they are all His children, though they may sometimes be our enemies” (Benjamin Franklin).

“Now love does not receive his mercy, but faith only; out of which faith love springs, by which love I pour out again upon my neighbor that goodness that I have received of God by faith…we make good works fruits, by which our neighbor is the better, and by which God is honored…by which we know that our faith is no trick of imagination and dead opinion…but a living thing produced by the Holy Spirit” (William Tyndale).

Building America and Expanding Narrow Minds with Iron Rails

Building America and Expanding Narrow Minds with Iron Rails – By Daniel Sheridan

#OTD, June 9, 1781, a man was born whose world-changing invention built America.

In the 1830s, the world began progressing technologically at unprecedented levels through the efforts of inventors busily applying their talents for humanity’s sake. One revolutionized travel, helped build America, and expanded narrow minds as a by-product. Here’s the story. 

In 1807, Bostonians built the first American railroads, called tramways, which were temporary rail lines designed to transfer loads out of coal mines. Meanwhile, boats and factories utilized steam engines. One day, a clever inventor combined the two technologies.

George Stephenson, an English civil and mechanical engineer, was born June 9, 1781. In 1814, he invented a steam engine running on wheels grooved onto rails dragging attached cars loaded with cargo.

People mocked Stephenson’s contraption. A parliamentary committee man interrogating Stephenson sarcastically asked,

“Suppose, Mr. Stephenson, that a cow were to get in front of your engine moving at full speed, what would happen?”

George, however, unmoved by the little faith cynic, replied with his Northumberland accent,

“It wad be vera bad for the coo!” 

In 1821, Stephenson engineered and oversaw the Stockton and Darlington railway construction, becoming the first pubic railway four years later.  

Americans adopted Stephenson’s invention by 1830. Within a few years, Americans could travel from New York to Portland, Oregon, at the same time it previously took to go from New York to Portland, Maine, in the days of John Quincy Adams. 

Before the railroad, people traveled at a snail’s pace by wagon carrying small loads, which was not easy, especially maneuvering through muddy trails and weather conditions. After Stephenson’s invention appeared in America, freight trains crossed the country through any weather carrying large loads at lightning speeds. 

The railroad lowered transportation costs, encouraged travel, and added new cities and states to the American landscape. America became smaller and easier to govern, too. 

Furthermore, the railroad expanded people’s minds. Mark Twain said that travel cures bigotry. Efficient transportation exposes people to new worlds and promotes expansive commercial exchanges, bringing people closer and more frequent contact and eliminating bigotry and prejudice from the hearts of the sincere. 

In 1830, Americans laid 23 miles of track for horse-drawn cars. By 1840, they embedded 2,800 miles of rail powered by Stephenson’s invention and blanketed over 30,000 miles of the country by 1860. Railroads and steamboats put westward expansion on the fast track.

On this day, June 9, 1781, George Stephenson was born.

The Daily Link: Proper Reformation Tools

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In 1522, Martin Luther gave a series of “Invocavit Sermons” designed to encourage people to trust in the Word of God rather than violence as a reformation tool. Luther’s exhortations helped restore tranquility and order, thus accomplishing Luther’s task of leading “his congregation away from fanatical enthusiasm back to the spirit of the gospel.”

“…we must also have love and through love we must do to one another as God has done to us through faith. For without love faith is nothing, as St. Paul says, If I had the tongues of angels and could speak of the highest things in faith, and have not love, I am nothing. And here, dear friends, have you not grievously failed? I see no signs of love among you, and I observe very well that you have not been grateful to God for his rich gifts and treasures.”

“I notice that you have a great deal to say of the doctrine of faith and love which is preached to you, and this is no wonder; an ass can almost intone the lessons, and why should you not be able to repeat the doctrines and formulas? Dear friends, the kingdom of God does not consist in talk or words but in activity, in deeds, in works and exercises. For a faith without love is not enough…we also need patience. For whoever has faith, trusts in God, and shows love to his neighbor, practicing it day by day, must needs suffer persecution…A heart thus blessed with virtues can never rest or restrain itself, but rather pours itself out again for the benefit and service of the brethren, just as God has done to it.”