NEW TESTAMENT WORDS. for Today WARREN W. WIERSBE

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1 NEW TESTAMENT WORDS for Today 10 0 Devot iona l R ef lect ions WARREN W. WIERSBE C

2 2013 by Warren W. Wiersbe Published by Baker Books a division of Baker Publishing Group P.O. Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI Printed in the United States of America All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means for example, electronic, photocopy, recording without the prior written permission of the publisher. The only exception is brief quotations in printed reviews. Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Wiersbe, Warren W. New Testament words for today : 100 devotional reflections / Warren W. Wiersbe pages cm ISBN (pbk.) 1. Bible. New Testament Meditations. I. Title. BS W dc Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture quotations are from the New King James Version. Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations marked NASB are from the New American Standard Bible, copyright 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. Scripture quotations marked TNIV are from the Holy Bible, Today s New International Version. TNIV. Copyright 2001, 2005 by Biblica, Inc. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. Scripture quotations marked Williams are from the Williams New Testament, In the Language of the People, by Charles B. Williams. Copyright 1937; renewed 1965, 1966, 1986 by Edith S. Williams. Copyright 1995 by Charlotte Williams Sprawls. Used by permission. Emphasis in the Scripture quoted in each epigraph has been added by the author

3 Preface Yet in the church I would rather speak five words with my understanding, that I may teach others also, than ten thousand words in a tongue. 1 CORINTHIANS 14:19 If you know how to select them, five words can express unforgettable, life-changing thoughts. Thomas Jefferson put five words into the Declaration of Independence that declared liberty for the American colonies: We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal. Abraham Lincoln quoted those five words in his famous Gettysburg Address. A specter is haunting Europe are the words Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels chose to open their Communist Manifesto, a small book whose message changed the map of Europe. On June 18, 1940, Prime Minister Winston Churchill heartened the British people with a speech that concluded with five unforgettable words: Let us therefore brace ourselves to our duty, and so bear ourselves that, if the British Commonwealth 3

4 Preface and its Empire lasts for a thousand years, men will still say, This was their finest hour. The Bible contains many memorable five-word statements that are living and powerful (Heb. 4:12), inspired words that the Holy Spirit can use to direct us in today s chaotic world. In this book, I have provided meditations based on one hundred of these phrases as they are found in the New Testament, using the New King James Version of the Scriptures. I trust that as you meditate on God s Word and ponder my words, the Spirit of God will enlighten you and encourage you, enabling you to discover the will of God and enjoy doing it. Warren W. Wiersbe 4

5 NEW TESTAMENT WORDS for Today

6 1 And [Joseph] did not know [Mary] till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus. MATTHEW 1:25 The Lord is not in a hurry. For centuries, God had led different people in different places to do different things to prepare the way for the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, and now he had come. But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son (Gal. 4:4). In Malachi 1:11, God had promised that his name would be great among the nations, and now the one had arrived who would fulfill that promise (John 17:4). His is the first name and the last name in the New Testament (Matt. 1:1; Rev. 22:21); and between those verses, the name of Jesus is mentioned over nine hundred times. In the first chapter of Matthew, the name Jesus is linked with two other names: Christ and Immanuel. His official name is Christ, which means anointed and reminds us that Jesus is prophet, priest, and king. In the Hebrew nation, the men in these offices were always anointed with special oil. Immanuel means God with us, reminding us that Jesus is God and is always present with his people. Jesus is his personal name, and it means Savior. Let s think about that name. Jesus is a divinely appointed name. The angel who visited Mary told her to call her son Jesus (Luke 1:31); and in his dream Joseph saw an angel who gave him the same command (Matt. 1:21), which he obeyed (v. 25). When the baby was circumcised, Jesus was the name given to him (Luke 2:21). The name Jesus comes from the Hebrew Yehoshua (Joshua), which means the Lord saves. The phrase He will save His people in Matthew 1:21 does not refer only to the salvation of Jewish people but to that of all those who put their trust in Jesus. 6

7 Jesus is an honorable name. It belonged to Hoshea, one of the twelve spies, but Moses changed it to Joshua (Num. 13:8, 16). During the wilderness march, Joshua had been Moses s special assistant and the general of the army, but God made him Moses s successor and he led the nation into the Promised Land. But the name Joshua also belonged to the high priest who served the Jewish remnant that went to the Holy Land after the exile in Babylon (Hag. 1:1). Because of the prominence of these two men, a general and a high priest, many Jewish boys were named Joshua, which in the Greek language is Jesus. Jesus is an effective name. What good news that Jesus is the Savior of lost sinners! Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved (Acts 4:12). But there is more. He is the master and friend of saved sinners! His people have the privilege of prayer because of the authority of his name. And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask anything in My name, I will do it (John 14:13 14). In his name we have the authority to proclaim the gospel (Luke 24:47), the opportunity to assemble with other believers and worship (Matt. 18:20), and the privilege to suffer for his name s sake (Acts 5:41; 1 Pet. 4:14). Jesus is an abused name. People use his name as a swear word or else they use a minced oath, such as gee or jeeze. (Other minced oaths are golly and gosh and jiminy crickets. ) But it s up to us as God s children to magnify the name of Jesus by our good works, our godly walk, and our gracious speech. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth. Philippians 2:9 10 7

8 2 And when [the magi] had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. MATTHEW 2:11 In spite of what we sing during the Christmas season, the oriental magi were not kings but rather interpreters of the stars and of dreams, and we don t know how many there were. God directed them via the star to the house in Bethlehem where the holy family was living. Consider some of the factors involved in this important event. Persistence. We don t know which country they came from, although many students believe it was Persia. Undoubtedly there was a large train of people and animals, enough to stir Jerusalem and frighten King Herod. Travel was slow in those days, and the larger the train, the longer it took to reach the destination. Some students believe they had been traveling for perhaps a year. God s people today may have instant contact with the Savior at his throne of grace, and we know he is always with us (Matt. 28:18 20; Heb. 13:5). But it takes grace and persistence to live the Christian life. Hebrews 6:12 admonishes us not to become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. Guidance. There is no sense traveling if you don t know where you are going, but the Lord gave them guidance through a special star. Being men who searched the heavens, the magi found the star a perfect guide. But when they reached Jerusalem, the priests gave them directions to Bethlehem from Micah 5:2, and then in Bethlehem the star reappeared and took them right to the correct house. We follow the Lord s leading a step at a time. God didn t send the magi a map; he guided them day by day and they arrived at their appointed 8

9 destination. God can use circumstances, other people, and his Word to point the way he wants us to go, and they will always agree. Beware of ignoring the Bible! If we spend time daily in the Scriptures, God will give us just the promise, warning, or command we need at that time. Eminence. The magi were important and wealthy men, while most Christians are ordinary people living ordinary lives, but all have the privilege of worshiping Jesus and serving him! God is no respecter of persons and shows no partiality (Acts 10:34 35). We may not have lavish gifts to bring him, but if what we bring him is from our hearts, he will accept it and bless it. Jesus accepted the little boy s simple lunch (John 6:8 11) as well as Mary s expensive ointment (12:1 8), and both gifts brought blessing to others. It s likely that the magi s gifts gave Joseph the funds he needed for their escape to Egypt and the expenses for their life there. Reverence. After entering the house, the magi fell down and worshiped Him (Matt. 2:11). These men were Gentiles and by their actions they demonstrated that the King of the Jews would provide salvation for all the nations of the world (4:15 16; 12:15 21). Our annual celebration of the birth of Christ ought to include thanksgiving for the Gift of God to the whole world. It should be a time for worship and praise, and we should give gifts to Jesus just as the magi did centuries ago. The magi did not go back to Herod or to the priests, for they had found Jesus and needed nothing or no one else. Don t go beyond the King! Like the humble shepherds (Luke 2:20), the magi no doubt spread the good word at home that God had sent a Savior, and his name was Jesus. Let s follow their example. He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords. 1 Timothy 6:15 9

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