Being Ready

Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish.
They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, “Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.” Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, “Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out.” But the wise answered, saying, “Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves.” And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.
Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, “Lord, Lord, open to us.” But he answered and said, “Verily I say unto you, I know you not.”
Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man cometh.
                 Matthew 25:1-13

Without being too complicated, and I do not believe Jesus intended the understanding of this parable to be hard to understand; I will keep this short and simple without trying to explain every item within it. There is one simple message to the parable of the ten virgins. I will state it in one sentence.

The Lord Jesus is coming again for His bride, which is the Church, and if an individual does not have the Holy Spirit abiding in them, they will not make it.

If you are not ready with the Holy Spirit in you (Romans 8:9) then you will find yourself standing outside the door of the Savior crying “Lord, Lord” and He will not let you in. You receive the Holy Spirit by repenting of your sin, calling on the name of Jesus as your Lord and Savior in faith, knowing that He died on the cross for your sins, He was buried, and He rose again. Call on Him today.

The Wedding is Ready

And Jesus answered and spake unto them again by parables, and said,
“The kingdom of heaven is like unto a certain king, which made a marriage for his son, and sent forth his servants to call them that were bidden to the wedding: and they would not come.
Again, he sent forth other servants, saying, ‘Tell them which are bidden, ‘Behold, I have prepared my dinner: my oxen and my fatlings are killed, and all things are ready: come unto the marriage.’ But they made light of it, and went their ways, one to his farm, another to his merchandise: and the remnant took his servants, and entreated them spitefully, and slew them. But when the king heard thereof, he was wroth: and he sent forth his armies, and destroyed those murderers, and burned up their city.
Then saith he to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but they which were bidden were not worthy. Go ye therefore into the highways, and as many as ye shall find, bid to the marriage.’ So those servants went out into the highways, and gathered together all as many as they found, both bad and good: and the wedding was furnished with guests. And when the king came in to see the guests, he saw there a man which had not on a wedding garment: and he saith unto him, ‘Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment?’ And he was speechless.
Then said the king to the servants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and take him away, and cast him into outer darkness; there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’
For many are called, but few are chosen.”
                                  Matthew 22:1-14

I share with you the writing thoughts of F. B. Meyer…

THE PENALTY OF SLIGHTING THE INVITATION
We have here a continuation of our Lord’s teaching on that last great day in the Temple. This day seems to have begun with Mat_21:23, and it continued to Mat_25:46. What wonder that His strength was prematurely exhausted, and that He succumbed so soon under the anguish of His cross!
In this parable He describes His union with His people under the symbolism of marriage. This must have suggested the allusions of Eph_5:23-32, where the Apostle tells us that Christ loved the Church as His bride; and of Rom_7:1-4, where He encourages us to believe that we may be married to Him who was raised from the dead. We can never forget Rev_21:2; Rev_21:9. Messenger after messenger was sent to the Hebrew people, but as they would not come, the Church was called from the highways and byways of the world to occupy the vacant space. But let us see to it that we are clothed in the spotless robe of His righteousness, in which alone we can stand in the searching light of eternity.  FROM eSword

Be sure you are dressed for the Wedding with the garment of the Righteousness of Jesus Christ.

The Kingdom of Heaven and Hiring Laborers

For the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which went out early in the morning to hire labourers into his vineyard. And when he had agreed with the labourers for a penny a day, he sent them into his vineyard. And he went out about the third hour, and saw others standing idle in the marketplace, and said unto them; “Go ye also into the vineyard, and whatsoever is right I will give you.” And they went their way.
Again he went out about the sixth and ninth hour, and did likewise. And about the eleventh hour he went out, and found others standing idle, and saith unto them, “Why stand ye here all the day idle?” They say unto him, “Because no man hath hired us.” He saith unto them, “Go ye also into the vineyard; and whatsoever is right, that shall ye receive.”
So when even was come, the lord of the vineyard saith unto his steward, “Call the labourers, and give them their hire, beginning from the last unto the first.” And when they came that were hired about the eleventh hour, they received every man a penny. But when the first came, they supposed that they should have received more; and they likewise received every man a penny. And when they had received it, they murmured against the goodman of the house, saying, “These last have wrought but one hour, and thou hast made them equal unto us, which have borne the burden and heat of the day.” But he answered one of them, and said, “Friend, I do thee no wrong: didst not thou agree with me for a penny? Take that thine is, and go thy way: I will give unto this last, even as unto thee. Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with mine own? Is thine eye evil, because I am good?”
So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.
                                   Matthew 20:1-16

The Lord of all will give equal reward of eternity with the Lord, to all who are faithful to come to Him and to do His service. Whether one comes to faith in Him near the beginning of life or at the end of life, eternal life will be theirs.

Forgiving Forgiveness

Then came Peter to Him, and said, “Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times?” Jesus saith unto him,
“I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, ‘Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.’ Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay me that thou owest.’ And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.’ And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.
So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, ‘O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me: shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee?’ And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him.
So likewise shall My heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.”
               Matthew 18:21-35

When I have been forgiven all my debts – my sin debt; how can I not forgive those who have wronged me? Even those I have the perception of doing wrong to me? I can, and will forgive, because I have been forgiven so much more than any debt owed to me.

The wonderful grace of God in His Son Jesus paying my sin debt, and yours, dying on the cross for our sins, in His burial, and in His resurrection. Receive His forgiveness and receive that forgiveness that forgives.

Spoken by Isaiah the Prophet

Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against Him, how they might destroy Him.  But when Jesus knew, He withdrew Himself from thence: and great multitudes followed Him, and He healed them all; and charged them that they should not make Him known: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying,
“Behold My Servant, whom I have chosen; My beloved, in whom My soul is well pleased: I will put My Spirit upon Him, and He shall shew judgment to the Gentiles.  He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear His voice in the streets.  A bruised reed shall He not break, and smoking flax shall He not quench, till He send forth judgment unto victory.  And in His name shall the Gentiles trust.”               Matthew 12:14-21

The life and ministry of Jesus was the fulfillment of Scripture. It has been said that you can see Jesus on every page of Scripture.

The above quotation is from Isaiah 42 verses 1 through 5.

When the Whole City Came Out to Meet Jesus

And when He was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met Him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way. And, behold, they cried out, saying, “What have we to do with Thee, Jesus, Thou Son of God? Art Thou come hither to torment us before the time?”  And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding.  So the devils besought Him, saying, “If Thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.”  And He said unto them,
“Go.”
And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.  And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils.  And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw Him, they besought that He would depart out of their coasts.                                 Matthew 8:28-34

Hold to One

“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”                                           Matthew 6:24

What is it about “Mammon”; money, or material things; that is so quick at drawing our hearts away from God? Jesus has said, “Where your treasure is there will your heart be also” (verse 21). So it is a matter of the heart.

Let me give a couple of other verses that address this situation too many of us find ourselves in from time to time; and maybe some who are reading this has there lives tied up in the material, financial part of life so much that they are not at peace with God, themselves, and of course not with others.

First, the apostle Paul writing to the young pastor Timothy wrote, “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” (1 Timothy 6:10). It is not the lack of money, but the love of money that is the root of all evil, and it comes from the heart. If one loves money then they cannot and will not love God or others.

Second, let’s look at what James wrote, “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (James 1:8).

The question comes down to this – Do we love God? or Do we love money and things? We do have a choice. If we see money as a tool, and learn to use it wisely for the honor and glory of our God and Savior Jesus Christ, then we will be at peace with God and with our fellow man.

Knowing Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior of our lives gives us a life of love for God, and our brothers and sisters in Christ as well as peace and love for our neighbors. Remember this use money; rightly received; as a tool for living a modest and good and holy life, and helping others. Love God, and in loving others we show our love for God.

To Fulfill Righteousness

Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. But John forbad Him, saying, “I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me?” And Jesus answering said unto him,
“Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness.”
Then he suffered Him.                               Matthew 3:13-15

It was the ministry of John the Baptist to introduce the Messiah to the people of Judea and the area. He was preaching repentance and calling the people to be baptized, turning from their sin (Matthew 3:7-10).

Then, came Jesus, the One who would fulfill all righteousness, because He is the Righteous One. Since He was God in flesh, and as a Man He needed to show that He was complying with the laws of Judaism and of God, thus in presenting Himself as a candidate for baptism He was fulfilling righteousness and His call to ministry and was ministering to others as well. It was also the fulfilling of John’s ministry as a prophet of God.

Since Jesus presented Himself for baptism, then it behooves every one who turns from their sins in repentance and believes Jesus as their crucified, buried, and resurrected Lord and Savior to present themselves for baptism by immersion. Immersion showing the death, burial, and resurrection, and is a public testimony of one’s faith in Jesus Christ.

Will you repent of your sins today and believe Jesus died for your sins, was buried, and rose again?

An Eternal Decision

I will make Thy name to be remembered in all generations: therefore shall the people praise Thee for ever and ever.                            Psalm 45:17

But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. The governor answered and said unto them, “Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you?” They said, “Barabbas.”
Pilate saith unto them, “What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?” They all say unto him, “Let him be crucified.” And the governor said, “Why, what evil hath he done?” But they cried out the more, saying, “Let him be crucified.”                                    Matthew 27:20-23

It would be the last day of Jesus’s ministry in His physical body on earth. It was why He had came. Yet this was done by evil hearts and minds of individuals who hated Him and the light which He had brought into this world. The light that would drive away the black of the night of sin.

It was the last moments of His trial. The governor Pilate had given them a question, “Who do you want me to release to you? Barabbas or Jesus?” Now Barabbas was a murderer, of which there was no doubt. Jesus was innocent, pure, spotless, and clean with absolutely no sin in His life. And the crowd yells, “Give us Barabbas.”

Now Pilate gives the people another question, “What shall I do then with Jesus who is called Christ?” This is and eternal question that still rings through every hill, mountain and valley around the world. It is a question every man, woman and child must answer, and the answer is an eternal decision we must make.

If we deny Jesus when He says, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father, except through Me” then we are saying with the above crowd, “Give us Barabbas, and crucify Jesus.” If we deny the Son we deny the Father and there is no truth in us.

I have made the decision. I choose Jesus as my Lord and Savior. He is the only way of salvation. Those who make claims of there being other ways deny the truth of Christ Jesus, deny His word, and deny the Father God.

Your decision is an eternal decision.

The Kingdom Closed Up

But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in.                             Matthew 23:13

Jesus gave many words of rebuke to the religious leaders. They were leaders who were not entering the kingdom, and they were working in preventing others from entering it.

We could ask, “How were these men preventing others from entering the kingdom?” and that is a good question.

One of the most notable ways was they were making doctrines of the traditions of men. They were really the one’s profaning the Sabbath day by not allowing healing of another member of Adam’s race; or simply by walking through a wheat field and with their hands plucking the grain, blowing the chaff away, and eating it.

I pray that I do not mess with the word of God, and make it a document of condemnation; but will rather declare and show the goodness, grace, mercy, peace, and justice of a holy, righteous and just God.

Yes! The Bible shows us our heart, our condemnation, our sentence in eternity as being the eternal fires of Hell. The Bible also shows us the way of deliverance from such an eternity.

That deliverance is through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ; the One who spoke those words of rebuke. Will you repent of your sins today, and call on the name of Jesus Christ as Your Lord and Savior?

Which Ones?

And, behold, one came and said unto Him, “Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?” And He said unto him,
“Why callest thou Me good? There is none good but One, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.”
He saith unto him, “Which?” Jesus said,
“Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.”
The young man saith unto Him, “All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet?” Jesus said unto him,
“If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow Me.”
But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions.                                              Matthew 19:16-22

There is an eternal peril who have possession of great riches, in material things. There is also eternal peril to those who do not have those possessions.

The “rich young ruler” who came to Jesus supposed that he could have eternal life by doing something good. He asked Jesus, “…What good thing shall I do that I may have eternal life?” That is an assumption that most people make; that eternal life is attainable by some good deed.

If we look at the commandments Jesus gave to the young man, they are four of the final six of the Ten Commandments, and all have to do with how we treat our neighbor. The rich young man believes he has been obedient to all those Jesus has mentioned; and Jesus has not mentioned the first of the Commandments which have to do with our relationship to God.

This young man’s relationship with God was not what it ought to be. He had riches which blinded his eyes to God and to seeing Jesus for who He truly is.

We of Adam’s race must realize that all things are God’s. What we have in our possession, and under our feet is not ours. No matter whether you are a believer, a follower of Jesus Christ or an non theist – All Things are God’s.

Would you like to have eternal life? Then be perfect. That is not going to happen except by realizing you are imperfect, lost, dying in sin, and calling on the name of Jesus Christ who died on the cross  for our sins, was buried, and He rose again; and in doing so gives eternal life to all who have received Him.

Cutting Off Sin

Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be Thou my helper. Psalm 30:10

Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.                                                    Matthew 18:8-9

How seriously should the Christian take sin? Yes! I ask myself that question, then I must ask, “How seriously did Jesus take sin?” and  then realize the seriousness of sin.

Not too many people think about sin, but are sometimes very much prone to see the faults, failures and weaknesses; sins; in others, but not self.

Jesus saw sin as such serious condemnation of the heart, soul, mind, and strength of Adam’s race that He chose to take sin upon His sinless Person, and take the wrath of the Father in our behalf, so that we might know Him. In doing so He also gives us His Righteousness.

When we have received His Righteousness we no longer desire sin to be in our lives, and we constantly, and consistently fight against it. In the epistle to the Colossians the apostle Paul wrote,

If ye then be risen with Christ…  Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry: for which things’ sake the wrath of God cometh on the children of disobedience: in the which ye also walked some time, when ye lived in them.   Colossians 3:1, 5-7

In the words of Jesus spoken above Jesus speaks of cutting off a hand or foot if it causes us to sin; and pulling out your eye if it offends you, causing you to sin. Is He okaying the mutilation of one’s body. Only if it means the saving of your life, your soul.

Something to consider with cutting off the hand or foot or pulling your own eye from its sockets is this; unless you deal with your heart the other hand or foot can still offend you. The other eye can still look upon someone or something with a covetous heart, and you are condemned. There is no hope in cutting off the hand or foot to deliver yourself; or pulling and eye from its socket.

Our hope is only in the cross of the Lord Jesus who gave Himself for the redemption from sin. Like Psalm 30 verse 10 says above,

Hear, O LORD, and have mercy upon me: LORD, be Thou my helper. Psalm 30:10

The Lord Jesus alone is our salvation and deliverance from sin, yet when we have received Him we still hate sin, our own, and the destruction it causes to life, homes, churches, communities, states and nations; to the world. We must fight it daily in ourselves, putting it to death (Mortify), cutting it off.

The Sabbath and Holy Days

And when He was departed thence, He went into their synagogue: and, behold, there was a man which had his hand withered. And they asked him, saying, “Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath days?” that they might accuse Him. And He said unto them,
“What man shall there be among you, that shall have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on it, and lift it out? How much then is a man better than a sheep? Wherefore it is lawful to do well on the sabbath days.”
Then saith He to the man,
“Stretch forth thine hand.”
And he stretched it forth; and it was restored whole, like as the other. Then the Pharisees went out, and held a council against Him, how they might destroy Him.                Matthew 12:9-14

It is astonishing the days we see as holy, and establish others not to be so holy. For most Christians, we worship the risen Christ on Sunday, not the Sabbath, because our Lord was raised from death on the first day of the week.

There are some rare sects of Christianity who still practice worship on Saturday or the Sabbath. Which day should we worship the Lord on?

Every Christian should worship on Sunday – now do not stop reading yet carry on…

Every Christian should worship God and His Son Jesus on Monday.

Every Christian should worship the Father and the Son on Tuesday.

We ought to worship the Father, and the Son in the power of the Holy Spirit on Wednesday.

When we are right with God we should worship Him on Thursday.

Every born again child of God should worship Him on Friday.

Christian you should worship Him on Saturday as well.

For those who love and follow Jesus Christ every day should be holy and a day of resting in His arms of grace and mercy. If we followed the dictates of those who hated Jesus and tried to trap Him, then, we would only be obligated to God for one day a week.

Everyday is God’s. Everyday is Holy. Everyday is sacred. All of this to say we are to do what is good, holy and righteous every day we live. We get together on Sunday, the day I call “The Lord’s Day” to lift up His name together, and get refueled for the week ahead. Let us live every day for Him.

Touching the Untouchable

When He was come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. And, behold, there came a leper and worshipped Him, saying, “Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean.” And Jesus put forth His hand, and touched him, saying,
“I will; be thou clean.”
And immediately his leprosy was cleansed. And Jesus saith unto him,
“See thou tell no man; but go thy way, shew thyself to the priest, and offer the gift that Moses commanded, for a testimony unto them.”           Matthew 8:1-4

The leper was one of the most untouchable people in the Jewish culture, and according to law. The leper was without family touch, and would have been such a lonely, painful, and debilitating existence.

The leper who came to Jesus had simple asked Jesus to make him clean. Jesus did something much more than cleanse him; Jesus touched him. Note the words in the text, “…Jesus put forth His hand and touched him…”  That touch, was a personal touch, a touch of caring, a touch of loving, and Jesus healed the man too.

That is just like Jesus, and like those who love Him and follow Him. Touching the untouchables is from God. Touching without fear. Touching without judgment or judging them knowing that they need that special care.

Jesus later went to the cross bearing our afflictions, our sins, and infirmities; becoming sin for us; and receiving the judgment, the wrath of Holy God, that should have been ours to bear. He carried our sins away in His burial. He rose again from the grave proving that all He had said was true. Proving that He died to put away sin, fulfilling all the law and prophets.

He wants to touch you today. Call on His name, and He will hear, He will heal you with His touch.

Not by Bread Alone

Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, He was afterward an hungred. And when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If Thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread.” But He answered and said,
“It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.'”                                     Matthew 4:1-4

It has been said by many people, “I will do whatever it takes to survive.” I have, sadly, at times lived that way. Is that, however, the response of Jesus as He was tempted in the wilderness; to survive at any cost?

The tempter, who was Satan, trying to get Jesus to take the easy way, challenged Him, by questioning His position with His Father, and questioning His ability to make it to the cross without sinning. Yes! It would have been a sin for Jesus to turn stones into bread.

To do so He would have been falling for the temptation of the “Lust of the flesh”, and would have failed.

Take a note on His answer to the tempter. Jesus used the words of God from Moses’s writings (Deuteronomy 8:3), and noted that His survival would be due to the truth of the word of God; doing the godly and right thing.

Jesus teaches us later in Matthew 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”   These words have much more power and authority to us when we see how Jesus handled His temptation in the wilderness.

Let us commit to Him to live by His word, trusting Him only for life’s needs. Warning: this is not implying sitting back and not working.

Out of Egypt

And when they were departed, behold, the angel of the Lord appeareth to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise, and take the young Child and His mother, and flee into Egypt, and be thou there until I bring thee word: for Herod will seek the young Child to destroy Him.”
When he arose, he took the young Child and His mother by night, and departed into Egypt: and was there until the death of Herod: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying, “Out of Egypt have I called My Son.”                                       Matthew 2:13-15

Matthew tells us of the angel of the Lord coming to Joseph in a dream saying, “Take the young Child and flee into Egypt” and it was because of Herod. All of this was the fulfilling of Old Testament prophecies concerning the killing of the innocents in verse 18 of this chapter; a prophecy of the prophet Jeremiah chapter 31 and verse 15.

It is also referring to a prophecy of Hosea 11:1, “When Israel was a child, then I loved him, and called my son out of Egypt.” Though this prophecy is related to God’s gracious deliverance of Israel out of Egyptian bondage it is also pointing to God’s fulfilling His promise to save out of the world all who would come to Him through His Son Jesus.

Egypt is a picture of the world and the wickedness within it. God sent His Son Jesus into the world to show His love for the world, and to deliver out of the world all who would turn from their sin to Him.

It was the wicked world who crucified the perfect Lamb of God, giving Himself willingly dying for our sins, He was buried not only proving His death but also carrying away all our sin, shame and condemnation (Leviticus 16 the scapegoat taken into the wilderness never to be seen again), then on the first day of the week (Sunday) Jesus came out of the grave alive forever more.

He is calling all who will hear Him, out of Egypt. Do you hear. Believe Him

Betrayed

And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, He said unto His disciples,
“Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover, and the Son of Man is betrayed to be crucified.”
Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill Him. But they said, “Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people.”                                                                    Matthew 26:1-5

Some of us; maybe even all of us have experienced betrayal by a friend, family member, or a neighbor. None of us have experienced the betrayal like Jesus did; and He knew it was going to happen. How many of us knew that it was going to happen?

One of His disciples was the one who would betray Him; and he did it with a kiss, a sign of friendship.

Jesus was betrayed because He is the Son of Man, the Son of God and it was in His Father’s plan that Jesus die for the sins of the world, so that all who would come to Him, believing, they might have everlasting life.

The plans of the religious leaders was to be rid of a “Blasphemer”, a “Deceiver”, a fraud; but they, in fact, were rejecting their Messiah, their Redeemer and Savior. They were more afraid of losing their power, popularity and prestige among the people whom they were making the children of hell (Matthew 23:15).

There are still those who would crucify Jesus all over again, because they do not approve of Him, His life, His followers, or His word. Where do you stand today?

Will you, or are you in your heart crying out, “Crucify Him”?  Will you instead cry out to Him, “Lord, have mercy of me; a sinner, condemned and unclean. Save me.” Your choice.

Know That It Is Near

Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: so likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.
Matthew 24:32-35

“There is only one thing that is constant, and that is change”. “There are only two things that are certain, death and taxes”. These statements have been heard by many of us. They are both in grave error in that the word of God is not considered.

The words God has spoken in His word are a constant; they are also a certainty. The word of God never changes, and it will not fail to come to pass just as He has spoken it.

The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is certain; and His coming again is certain. Have you made yourself ready for His coming again? Do you know Him as your personal Lord and Savior? If not you can call out to Him in repentance and faith and He will hear you, and you will be ready.

The Lord has Need of Them

And when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the Mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, saying unto them,
“Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. And if any man say ought unto you, ye shall say, ‘The Lord hath need of them;’ and straightway he will send them.”
All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying,
“Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass.”                           Matthew 21:1-5

When it comes to serving the Lord are we as willing as the owners of those donkeys to just let them go at the word of His followers?

Do I, do you believe what God is saying when He brings us a message of the fulfilling of God’s word, and for His will in our lives?

The owners of the donkeys freely believed and freely gave of their resources to fulfill God’s will and word.

I will commit to doing the same. May the word and will of God always move me toward Him, not away from Him.

The Ninety Nine and the One

Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of My Father which is in heaven. For the Son of Man is come to save that which was lost.
How think ye? If a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray? And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.
Matthew 18:10-14

I am grateful that I was that one. He came seeking me and found me, and put me on His shoulder and carried me back to the fold.

You may be that one He has come seeking. Believe Him, and He will deliver you.

Shall Gather Out of His Kingdom

The Son of Man shall send forth His angels, and they shall gather out of His kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; and shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.
                                           Matthew 13:41-43

Within the kingdom of heaven is both good and evil. The children of evil, and the redeemed children of God.

The redeemed children of God were once evil (1 Corinthians 6:9-11), but who have come to faith by the gift of grace through the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The kingdom of heaven, also known as the kingdom of God in Mark, Luke, and John will one day be eradicated of all evil; evil and those who do evil will be cast into eternal fire; and then the righteous shall shine forth in the kingdom of our Father (Malachi 4:1-2).

Where do you stand with Him today? Have you been redeemed? Believing, you can call on His name, and He will hear your cry, and He will save you.

Of Trees and Men

Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit.
O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.
A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.
                 Matthew 12:33-37

Good trees produce good fruit. Bad trees or evil trees produce bad fruit. Men evil, and good produce fruit as well.

If a person’s heart is evil, out of that heart comes evil fruit. If a person’s heart is good they will produce good fruit.

The words we speak are coming as produce from the heart. What kind of words do we use? If we are always tearing down someone else, trying to make ourselves appear better to others then that is a fruit of evil. When we build others up over ourselves that is good fruit.

That good fruit comes from a heart that has been changed by the grace of God. That grace was put on display as Jesus Christ was nailed to the cross suffering for the sins of the world and He died there, was buried and He rose again justifying those who come to Him and changing our hearts to produce good fruit in life and words spoken.

If any be in Christ Jesus they are a new creation, old things have passed away, behold, all things have been made new.  2 Corinthians 5:17

Recognized Faith

And when Jesus was entered into Capernaum, there came unto Him a centurion, beseeching Him, and saying, “Lord, my servant lieth at home sick of the palsy, grievously tormented.” And Jesus saith unto him,
“I will come and heal him.”
The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that Thou shouldest come under my roof: but speak the word only, and my servant shall be healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me: and I say to this man, ‘Go,’ and he goeth; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he cometh; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he doeth it.” When Jesus heard it, He marvelled, and said to them that followed,
“Verily I say unto you, I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel.” Matthew 8:5-10

The Roman centurion in the text had a recognized faith. He had came seeking Jesus for the healing of his ailing, suffering servant. His faith was a very evident faith and a working faith.

How would my faith in Jesus Christ be recognized? How about yours? Genuine faith searches for Jesus, then genuine faith believes what Jesus says and goes believing He has done what He said.

Could Jesus or will Jesus be able to say of us, “I have not found so great faith…”?

Falsely Accused for Christ’s Sake

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.                                 Matthew 5:11-12

These words, spoken by Jesus, while teaching of His kingdom are more than reminders to us that in this world there are people who hate and despise Jesus, those who believe and follow Him, and even His word.

Let those of us who love Him keep in mind that we have His blessings on us no matter what form of persecution we face.

It is not persecution if we are in a trial for some wrong we have done. That is a matter of justice. Persecution is when we live for Christ Jesus and His word, and we are hated and despised for that.

Let us always be faithful to Jesus Christ, His word and to the work of His kingdom.

Religion and Repentance

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, “O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: and think not to say within yourselves, ‘We have Abraham to our father:’ for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.  And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: therefore every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.”                                    Matthew 3:7-10

John the Baptist was not called to promote a religious system. That is all that the Pharisees and Sadducees had in their hearts and minds.

The Baptist came, was anointed by God, and came calling people to the repentance of sin that their hearts might be prepared for the appearance of the Messiah, that they might believe Him.

That is the calling, from a heart of love for Christ, to call people to believe Jesus Christ, call on His name in repentance and faith. Showing forth fruit of repentance comes from a heart that has been born again, changed to the point of hating sin, first in one’s own life.

Has your heart and life been changed by the power of the Holy Spirit in your life?