Posts Tagged ‘Amen’

Yes and amen: powerful combination

December 4, 2018

Each word in the Word of Life is an expression of power. Luke 1:37 in the King James Version says, “For with God nothing shall be impossible.” The American Standard Version offers this translation: “For no word from God shall be void of power.” Indeed, there is life-changing power in a single word from the Word, as the Poet notes:

. . . the power
of the printed word,
the power of a single light,
like a cloven tongue of fire,
to shatter the darkest night.

One of the most powerful words in the English language, in my estimation, is “yes.” With regard to Jesus Christ, Paul makes known this profound truth in 2 Corinthians 1:19-21 (New Living Translation)

19 For Jesus Christ, the Son of God, does not waver between “Yes” and “No.” He is the one whom Silas, Timothy, and I preached to you, and as God’s ultimate “Yes,” he always does what he says.
20 For all of God’s promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding “Yes!” And through Christ, our ““amen”” (which means “Yes”) ascends to God for his glory.
21 It is God who enables us, along with you, to stand firm for Christ. He has commissioned us,

Used to express affirmation or assent, “yes” is often indicates as an affirmative reply. Certainly we are aware of that the word as a strong expression of joy, pleasure, or approval. When a player scores the winning shot in an overtime game, often excited fans respond with a vigorous “Yes! Way to go!”

Another expression of affirmation is the word “amen”, a term appearing hundreds of times in Bible. Transliterated from the Hebrew word “amen” and pronounced “ay-men” or “ah-men,” it serves as a verb throughout the Old Testament, meaning to take care, to be faithful, reliable or established, or to believe someone or something, according to Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary. We note Israel used the word ““amen”” as part of the expression of praise to God in the Psalms of David.

Psalm 79:19

Blessed be his glorious name for ever; may his glory fill the whole earth! Amen and Amen!

“Amen” is commonly used following a prayer or formal statement of belief, expressing ratification or agreement and means “it is so” or “so it be.” The term also means “certainty,” “truth,” and “verily.” As used in the last two verses of the Bible, “amen” reveals God has “the last say-so.”

Revelation 22:20-21(Amplified Bible):

He who testifies and affirms these things says, “Yes, I am coming quickly.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.

The grace of the Lord Jesus (the Christ, the Messiah) be with all [the saints—all believers, those set apart for God]. Amen.

We close with a musical rendering of Habakkuk 2:2-3 with a chorus of confirmation: “It is so!” . . . And all the people said. . . Amen.

When the fullness of time was come

December 12, 2017

Galatians 4--4-5

Revised and re-posted, the Verse of the Day for December 12, 2017 offers another passage related to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ taken from Galatians 4:4-5 in the King James Version:

But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

The Amplified Bible says this:

But when [in God’s plan] the proper time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the [regulations of the] Law, so that He might redeem and liberate those who were under the Law, that we [who believe] might be adopted as sons [as God’s children with all rights as fully grown members of a family]. But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

The expression “the fullness of the time” refers to “the time appointed by the Father” spoken of in Galatians 4:2. The phrase is also translated “that when the time is ripe” or “at the right time.” According to Logos Bible software, “God does nothing prematurely, but, foreseeing the end from the beginning, waits till all is ripe for the execution of His purpose.”

The same phrase is used in Ephesians 1:10 which refers to the return of Jesus Christ

10 That in the dispensation of the fullness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:

Although as believers we recognize and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, we also remember His birth is only the first part of the five-fold purpose of his life: his birth, his death, resurrection, ascension, and his return.

We, first of all, realize that Jesus Christ was born to die, for we cannot deny that he was also crucified, that he died, and that he was buried, but we also proclaim that “He is risen, indeed.”  In addition, Christ ascended to the Father, as we also proclaim: “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command. …And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive…will be caught up together with them…and so we will always be with the Lord.” All of this comes to mind with the birth of Jesus Christ.

Among the most popular songs of the Christmas season is “Amen,” composed by Jester Hairston, one of the most celebrated arrangers of spirituals of the 20th Century. The lyrics not only tell of the birth of Jesus Christ, but they also give an overview of his entire life in a most memorable way:

Amen, amen
Amen, amen, amen
Sing it over one time children
Listen to my story
It’s a story about my Jesus
Amen

See the little baby
You know He’s wrapped in a manger
Born Christmas morning
Amen

See Him at the seashore
Talking to the fishermen
And He’s making them disciples
Amen, amen

Riding through Jerusalem
Waving palm branches
In pomp and splendor

See Him in the garden
Praying to His Father
In deepest sorrow, sorrow

Led before Pilate
Then they crucified Him
But He rose on Easter
Amen, amen, amen

Hallelujah!
Yes, He died to save you and me
And He lives forever and ever
Amen

Glory hallelujah!
He died to save you and me
And He lives forever
Amen, amen, amen

“Amen” is a signature piece for the contemporary gospel singer, Larnelle Harris, who always provides a powerful and unforgettable performance along with the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir:

So good, so ready, so full of love

January 31, 2017

Psalm 86-5

The Verse of the Day for January 31, 2017 offers a remarkable declaration of who God is and what He is willing to do:

Psalm 86:5 (NLT)

O Lord, you are so good, so ready to forgive, so full of unfailing love for all who ask for your help.

As we take a closer look at the verse, we see that God is “so good,” “so ready,” and “so full of love. . .”

O Lord, you are so good…

Book of Ezra notes that when the builders completed the foundation for the Temple, the priests and the people celebrated:

Ezra 6:11

11 With praise and thanks, they sang this song to the Lord:

“He is so good!
His faithful love for Israel endures forever!”

Then all the people gave a great shout, praising the Lord because the foundation of the Lord’s Temple had been laid.

So ready to forgive. . .

1 John 1:9 reminds us of this truth:

But if we confess our sins to him, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all wickedness.

The Psalmist also declares:

Psalm 103:2-3

Bless the Lord, O my soul,
And forget not all His benefits:
Who forgives all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases,

So full of unfailing love. . .

Deuteronomy 7:9 (NLT) reveals the extent of God’s faithfulness and love:

Understand, therefore, that the Lord your God is indeed God. He is the faithful God who keeps his covenant for a thousand generations and lavishes his unfailing love on those who love him and obey his commands.

John 3:16, one of the most often quoted verses in the Bible, makes known that God did not just love, but He so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believes on him should not perish but have everlasting life.

So

Used as an adverb three times in the Verse of the Day, “so” is a little word of great importance. It expresses the degree or the extent of the adjective that it modifies: “So” is also part of the expression “Amen.” The Hebrew word used for amen in the Old Testament is “ei men” and means “so be it, verily, true,” or “truly” (literally “truth”). In the New Testament the expression is transliterated from the Greek word “amen” and is said to be a declaration of affirmation of what was just spoken or written. “So it is” or “truly” and even “true” and “yes”; so be it—thus shall it most surely be, it is so.

Psalm 41:13 is says, “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen.” When repeated the statement spoken or written is established.

The last word used in the Bible, “Amen”, indicates that God has the last “say so”, for the Lord God Almighty, the creator of the ends of the Earth, affirms and confirms all that He has spoken—Amen—it is so!

We conclude with Casting Crowns offering this call to worship based on Psalm 86: The Voice of Truth:

Christ’s birth: a kind of first fruits

December 12, 2016

 

galatians-4-4-7

Revised and re-posted, the Verse of the Day for December 12, 2016 offers another passage related to the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ taken from Galatians 4:4-5 in the Amplified Bible:

But when [in God’s plan] the proper time had fully come, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the [regulations of the] Law, so that He might redeem and liberate those who were under the Law, that we [who believe] might be adopted as sons [as God’s children with all rights as fully grown members of a family]. But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

Apropos of the Christmas season, the passage also brings to mind the birth of Jesus Christ through whom we have the adoption as sons.  Adoption is a legal process whereby adopted sons had the same rights and privileges as sons who were naturally born into a family. Indeed, as legally adopted sons, believers have the right to our father’s inheritance and all that citizenship in His heavenly kingdom entails.

A similar expression is used in Romans 8:23-24 (NASB):

22 For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now. 23 And not only this, but also we ourselves, having the first fruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our body.

The reference to Jesus Christ as a glorious illustration of first fruits was the inspiration behind this poem with that title:

First fruits

In the exercise of His will He brought us forth

by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind

of first fruits among His creatures.

James 1:18 (NASB)

 

Ever transform, as You so fashion our visage

To be like Christ, the brightness of your glory.

In Your refiner’s fire melt us that we might be

Molded, our being cast in His express image:

As brand new boldface type printed upon the page,

As a double eagle minted in your treasure,

Stamped with the very essence of your character

To convey the awesome power of your message.

So saturate our lives: spirit, heart, soul, and mind,

Every fiber of my being, down to our pores;

Permeate us with Your presence that we might find

Our true calling as Christ’s faithful ambassadors.

More than mere vessel, vehicle, or instrument,

Like Christ, we are formed as first fruits of God’s intent.

Although as believers we recognize and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, we also remember His birth is only the first part of his five-fold purpose: he was born; he lived and he died; he was raised from the dead; he ascended to his Father; and he shall return.

We, first of all, realize that Jesus Christ was born to die, for we cannot deny that he was also crucified, that he died, and that he was buried, but we also proclaim that “He is risen, indeed.”  In addition, just as Christ ascended to the Father, we also proclaim: “For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command. …And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive…will be caught up together with them…and so we will always be with the Lord.” All of this comes to mind with the birth of Jesus Christ.

One of the popular songs of the Christmas season is the 20th Century spiritual “Amen” with lyrics that tell not only of the birth of Jesus Christ but give an overview of his entire life in a most memorable way. Here is Larnell Harris offering his moving rendition:

All God’s promises are yes and amen

March 12, 2015

 

The Verse of the Day for March 12, 2015 is found in 2 Peter 1:4 (NIV):

Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

The verse opens with the personal pronoun “these.” In order to understand what “these” is referring to, we need to examine the previous verse to find the “antecedent” or the noun that “these” takes the place of. Here are verses 3-4 of 2 Peter 1 rendered in the New Living Translation.

By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.

And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires.

This passage also brought to mind a statement made by Kristen Mellette of Christian Provision Ministries, who commented that the goodness of God abounds toward us to such a degree that wherever we may step, we are landing on one of God’s promises.

Concerning the promises of God, 1 Corinthians 1:20 tells us:

20 For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God.

When God makes a promise, He is faithful to fulfill that which He has spoken, for God is the original “Promise Keeper.” We find a reference to “all the promises of God” in the following poem which is an expression of one of God’s desires:

The Fullness of God

To know the love of Christ which passes knowledge;

that you may be filled with all fullness of God

Ephesians 3:19

In wisdom God gives power to loose and to bind,

To enlighten souls and open eyes of the blind.

All the promises of God are “yes and amen.”

God’s Word is true today, just as it was back then

When Christ first spoke the truth to those with ears to hear.

We walk in the spirit of love and have no fear.

We have been empowered by the spirit of might.

To serve the Lord, to please Him is our soul’s delight.

Secure, knowing nothing can snatch us from His hand,

We shall know fulfillment of all that God has planned.

Filled with all the fullness of God that we might see:

The riches of the glory of this mystery.

We walk by faith and not by sight, for we now know,

God sealed us by a covenant, and it is so.

Translated “it is so, so be it, or thus shall it most surely be, or some other variation of this widely spoken affirmation, Amen is commonly used throughout the Old and New Testament. According to Louis Ginzberg, “Amen” has been described as “perhaps the most widely known word in human speech,” as the liturgical response is used not only in Christianity but in Judaism and Islam and other religious practices.

The entire Bible is a matchless collection of exceeding great and precious promises, all of which God is committed to fulfill. Every promise made, God will keep, as He confirms the whole of His word with the last word used in the Bible, “Amen.”

Listen to the Contemporary vocal group, Selah, as they offer a lively medley of Christian songs, including “Standing on the Promises.”

We close out this blog entry with a benediction “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” composed by John Rutter, followed by a seven-fold Amen.