Lifted Up – An Excerpt from 183 Days in John

Here’s a free excerpt from Day 28 of my book 183 Days in John.  Enjoy:

John 3:14-16 :
“As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up,  that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world,  that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life.”

Here, Jesus predicts His death on the cross. He also provides us with a  story that explains the reason for His death. The story takes place after the the first Passover  when God delivers Israel from slavery. As they are moving toward the promised land  this happens:

Numbers 21:4-9 :
They traveled from Mount Hor by the way to the Red Sea, to compass the land of Edom:  and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way.  The people spoke against God, and against Moses,  “Why have you brought us up out of Egypt to die in the wilderness?  For there is no bread, and there is no water; and our soul loathes this light bread.”  Yahweh sent fiery serpents among the people, and they bit the people;  and many people of Israel died. The people came to Moses, and said,  “We have sinned, because we have spoken against Yahweh, and against you.
Pray to Yahweh, that he take away the serpents from us.” Moses prayed for the people.   Yahweh said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard:  and it shall happen, that everyone who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live.”  Moses made a serpent of brass, and set it on the standard: and it happened,  that if a serpent had bitten any man, when he looked to the serpent of brass, he lived.

Jesus said that He is like the serpent. This is a pretty bad thing to say. The serpent  usually represents Satan:

Revelation 20:2 :
…the dragon, the old serpent, which is the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole inhabited earth…

Not only this, Jesus said that He would be “lifted up” on a pole. Now, this  is a horrible thing to say also. Listen to what the Bible says about  people that are lifted up on poles:

Deuteronomy 21:22-23a :
If a man have committed a sin worthy of death, and he be put to death, and you hang him on a tree;  his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall surely bury him the same day;  for he who is hanged is accursed of God;

Jesus is saying that the people have, like Israel, sinned against God and God sent Him specifically  to become like a serpent hanging on a pole, that whosoever believes, will be saved from the death that  they deserve. You see, our sinning against God is worthy of death too, just as it was for Israel.   Jesus was made into evil, like Satan, and hung on a pole. It satisfied God’s justice to see that  our sin was paid for by this evil that was cursed.

Isaiah 53:10a :
Yet it pleased Yahweh to bruise him.
He has caused him to suffer.

Jesus is better than the serpent in the desert and our sin is worse than Israel because eternity is  involved. Jesus is the everlasting God, and our sin is worthy of eternal punishment in Hell. If you  look to Jesus to save you, you will not die eternally, but have eternal life. This is the glorious gift  of life that has been offered to us by God. This is the Gift that changed everything for those of us  who have believed.

Galatians 3:13,14 :
Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us.  For it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree,”  that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Christ Jesus;  that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.

2 Corinthians 9:15 :
Now thanks be to God for his unspeakable gift!

This was an excerpt from day 28 of my book 183 Days in John.  If you want to be notified about special offers by email and stay up to date on what’s going on with me, make sure you sign up for Troy’s List.

Copyright (c) Troy Taft 2013 All rights reserved

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Turn Your Smart Phone Into a Kindle

My book giveaway is over, but it isn’t expensive.  Get it here.  Don’t worry if you don’t have a Kindle.  You don’t need one to read Kindle books.  That’s what this post is about.

I think that one of the big reasons that Kindle books are so popular is because you don’t actually need a Kindle to buy and read Kindle books.  They have made it easy for just about anyone with an ability to occasionally connect to the Internet, to enjoy a Kindle books.

What Amazon did, is they created free Kindle apps for all of the major computers and devices.  You can even turn a Blackberry into a Kindle reader.

Probably the simplest way to turn your smart phone into a Kindle is to go to your smart phone’s app store.  When you search, type in the word “Kindle” and take the free app that Amazon provides.

If you have a Windows 8 computer of device, you can search the Windows 8 app store the same way.

If you have an older Windows PC or laptop (all the way back to XP) you can still download a Windows PC app.  All of these apps are completely free.  Click here to see all of the options that Amazon provides.

That doesn’t keep me from getting a Kindle, though.  There are three big reasons I like a separate reading device.  First, it’s easier to read a screen that isn’t backlit like a laptop or a phone and we tend to read for long periods of time.  A Kindle Paperwhite screen is like paper.  Light shines on it, so you can read it in sunlight just like a book.  The second reason is that the battery life is extremely long.  Unlike a phone or a tablet, it lasts for weeks.  Again, it’s almost like a real book only lighter and contains a whole library.  Finally, I like the fact that they gave away free wireless 3G.  This means that you don’t have to have a separate payment plan to connect the Kindle Paperwhite to your library or to go shopping for new books.  If you want this option, though, you have to make sure and buy that option.

Even if you don’t really want a separate Kindle, they have really made it easy to buy and read Kindle books on almost every kind of computer and computerized device.

One last thing:  If you got the book, please review 183 Days in John on Amazon, it helps the books ranking and it helps people make the decision when they are shopping.  Thanks for your help.

183 Days in John is Free Until Wednesday

My book 183 Days in John is free right now.  Get a copy before Wednesday.  Please write a review at Amazon and let others know what you think about it.  To be informed by email of specials like these, may sure and sign up for Troy’s List.

183 Days in John is a devotional commentary through the book of John in the Bible.  It’s a great way to study through the book of John at your own pace.  You might also want this book as a reference.

The book of John provides answers to important questions that are being challenged today, such as if Christianity is the only way to God, whether evolution is biblical and whether or not Jesus is the only way to God.

Most of the problems that people have about Christianity today come from a belief that the Bible has errors, or is only good for moral truth.  The Bible was not intended to be a book of morals.  When that’s all we make of it, it actually changes the whole message.  The Bible claims to hold the words of God Himself.  As such, the proper way to validate the Bible is to treat those words as having come from the God it describes.  If we read the Bible any other way, we won’t get the message.

God must help us to understand the Bible otherwise we won’t get it.  That’s what it also says.  Not only do we need to believe that these words are God’s words, God must be helping us to overcome our inability to believe Him.   At that point, we start to see that there is so much more to the Bible than just moral teaching.  It actually helps us in every part of life.

 

 

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