Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Sign

Matt. 27:37, Mark 15:26, Luke 23:38, John 19:19

A hand-written sign is not meant to last long – it only for a fleeting temporary event that will soon be gone like the event of which it speaks. The person who actually put the letters to a discarded plank of wood and tacked it to the cross of Jesus had no idea that what he was labeling was far from a passing event. It was penned with as much care as a “yard sale” sign stuck on a utility pole, but it was placed over the head of one who cared enough to be sacrificed on our behalf.

The inscription in full was: This is Jesus of Nazareth the King of the Jews. The Jews objected and demanded the sign be edited to include “he said, I am king of the Jews. (John 19:21-23), they were OK with it being a claim of a rebel but they did not what it to be a straight-forward declarative statement. Pilate caused it to be written in way to show contempt for the Jewish authorities – this was his view of a king that would come from the Jews a weak and dying would-be ruler. These were not words the Romans believed-- but they were absolutely true! Jesus was and is the rightful heir to the throne of Israel (cf. Luke 1:32-33) but is also King of Kings (I Tim. 6:15). These truths and Pilate's words though written in unbelief attest to Christ’s sovereignty and His divinity.

The hand-written sign was to mark a moment but it testified to a movement. Something far greater was happening, something that would alter the destiny of all who believe in the King of the Jews.

Since He is our King and we are subjects in His kingdom, our response should be obedience -- complete, unquestioning obedience. God desires and deserves our worship but worship means more than offering our words to Him; He desires compliance with His will, in this is He pleased (I Sam. 15:22).

Monday, October 18, 2010

Family Update

In addition to my Bible studies and essays I post weekly on this Blog, I have decided occasionally to update you all on the happenings of the Waggoner family. So, many of you have taken the effort to stay in touch and Julie and I appreciate that so much. First of all let me identify all in the picture above.

L to R: Julie, Eric and Jessica, Katie and Brian, Brandon and Heather and Me,

We both are doing well and are blessed beyond words and are constantly amazed at the goodness of our God. We were so thankful for a late summer get-together with our entire family; we enjoyed a relaxing weekend as well as a visit to the WV State Fair. In September I was blessed with the opportunity to speak at a Missionary Retreat in Ecuador. It was also in September that we said goodbye to the congregation of Bible Center Church. Thankfully we live in a day where even though we may be separated we can still stay in touch. We are so thankful for the 12 years of ministry that the Lord gave us.

We have been traveling a bit of late, I was in Chicago for some ministry meetings back in the summer, Julie I traveled to be with friends in North and South Carolina, We visited family in Richmond VA a couple of weeks ago and last week we went to Morgantown for the WVU – FSU game, and took a couple of days to travel through the eastern mountains of WV. In a couple of weeks we will be traveling to Dallas to see the Cowboys play – this has been a long time dream of ours and we are looking forward to seeing our favorite team play live! We also are working a mid-west trip in mid-November. Below, I have put some links to photo albums from some of the above if you want to take a look.

We have also been going through a renovation of our kitchen and a few other fix-up projects that have kept us busy and I am spending part of each working on my Doctoral Dissertation. I hope to be finished by the end of January.

We have been in contact with a few churches in need of a pastor. I can’t provide details yet but I would appreciate your prayers that the Lord will give clear direction to our next place of service. Whether we end up near or far we will always give thanks for each of you.


Waggoner Get-Together

From the Road

WVU game

Fall in the Mountains

Jesse Waggoner

Monday, October 11, 2010

Time Warp

"Since I appointed the ancient people. And the things that are coming and shall come,” (Isa. 44:7)

The language in this verse refers to God declaring in advance what will happen in the future. This is a question that spotlights His prophetic ability, and especially His exclusive ability do so. The Bible is full of fulfilled prophecy; more than 60 Old Testament prophecies were fulfilled on the day Jesus was crucified. Time does not permit the ability to explore many of these, but I would refer you to ten chapters further in Isaiah and to read chapter 53 and reflect on how accurately it depicts the death of Jesus. In this verse, He is challenging any skeptic to show even one example that shows that anyone else has this ability, and while the skeptic is silenced the believers should be comforted to know that He is a God who can definitively proclaim the future. In this He has no rivals.

He is unrivaled in time, and He is not just existing in time but expressing His will through time. Note well the time frames in this verse. First of all…

He operates in the past

It is He that “appointed the ancient people.” Here, He is looking back to expose His sovereign control. The people of the past were appointed, literally “placed” by God. One only has to look at the historical sections of the Bible to see everywhere His hand at work. We can likewise see His had operating in our lives and we should mark well the places along our path were He has involved Himself in our lives

He operates in the present

This is seen in this line: “and the things that are coming.” God is operating in the midst of things that were then coming to pass in the present. The trends, events, movements, circumstances and happenings of their day are connected back to the same verb “appointed” as the events of the past. He alone can appoint the events that unfold in present time to be in accordance with His will. But we are not finished. Also…

He operates in the future

Lastly He appoints “the things that are coming and shall come.” This final terminology focuses our attention on the future. Just as surely as He has appointed the past and present, His appointment, His placing, His setting of the future is likewise sure and good as done. God is the only One who can operate in the future as well as the past and present

Our heavenly Father wants us to know that the One who speaks in the past and prophesies concerning the future also traces the arc of our lives through time by means of His controlling, loving, powerful hand. Based on that, how does that help us in these troubling times in which we live? Simply, He is in control at all times!

Jesse Waggoner

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The First, The Last and Everything in Between

“Thus says the Lord, the King of Israel, And his Redeemer, the Lord of hosts: ‘I am the First and I am the Last; Besides Me there is no God. (Isa. 44:6)

This verse means infinitely more than just that God has always been, that He predates everything else; it references that He is the reason everything else exists. From cover to cover, the Bible does not blush to call God the Creator of all things. “In the beginning God created…” (Gen. 1:1), “All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made” (John 1:3), “all things were created by him, and for him” (Col. 1:16 KJV), "You are worthy, O Lord, To receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, And by Your will they exist and were created" (Revelation 4:11). When it comes to creators, remember there is only One.

Let me ask you a question: If God has the ability to create you does He have the ability to protect you in the present? Here is where we begin to see that He is the only One available for our trust and the only One worthy of our trust.

Not only is He the cause of all things, likewise…He is the culmination of all things He is the first and the last. Again, this means more than just He always will exist, He will also bring all things to a conclusion. He wrote the preface to all creation and He has already written the final chapter. Colossians 1:20 is a summary of the culminating activity of God; in this verse we see that through Christ, God will “reconcile all things to Himself.” The reconciliation is as in reconciling an account or a checkbook. When it is all said and done, all things will be as God chooses them to be; all accounts will be balanced.

May I ask you a question: If God has the ability to create you and you believe He has the ability to get you from here to heaven, does He have the ability to get you through the rest of today? If so, then let me challenge you to acknowledge His control, to obediently behave in harmony with His control. He will control you either through your worshipful obedience or in judgment, in spite of your objections…

So…give Him control

Through your will and choice, accommodate yourself to His control. Allow your trust in His control to pluck you from a sea of fear and doubt and lift you to new heights of confidence. I know this is challenging when what our eyes see lead us to fear. But we, in faith, need to reconnect with the only One who is unrivaled in control- our King and Redeemer.

Jesse Waggoner