Jesus Speaks – Christmas Day 190

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 (KJV)

This is a continuation from yesterday’s post…

What do I want for Christmas?

Persecution – Christian persecution is not something believers go looking for; but when it comes I want to be able to stand in faith no matter what the enemy of God may hurl at me; and I want all my brothers and sisters in Christ to be faithful to Jesus as well; and let it begin by being faithful to the Lord in the “Little thing” – reading God’s Word, prayer, witness, fruit bearing.

Happy Father’s Day to all the Dads.

Jesus Speaks – Christmas Day One Hundred Ninety and One

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:10 (KJV)

There are millions of Christians around the world suffering persecution for the cause of Christ, and their faith  in Him.  Even in the United States that is increasing, as we steadily lose our freedom of religion.

I know there are some who do not see what I am saying, but it is still in the facts of reported events.

So, What do I want for Christmas?

No matter what may come on us; Christian, I want us all to stand strong on the cross, and faith of Jesus Christ; no matter what a God hating society may hurl at us; let us be strong in the faith of Christ, and grow in His image and likeness; returning the world’s hatred toward us into His love back at them.

Happiness in persecution?  That is right, because we live for Him.

Jesus Speaks – Christmas Day One Hundred Ninety and Two

Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.” Matthew 5:9 (KJV)

To begin; we need to know that a peacemaker is not one who overlooks sin, iniquities, or transgressions in order to be at peace.  That is really a transgression of the term “Peacemaker”.

What do I want for Christmas?

I want all who will read this and hear to know that there is genuine peace with God who created all things; and that you can have a personal relationship with Him, because He has come down to you in the Person of His Son Jesus Christ, and gave His life on a cross, was buried, and bodily came out of that grave three days later; and He ever lives making intercession for you/us.

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…” Romans 5:1

“And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7

Before there can be peace with your neighbor, or your enemy; you must have peace with God through Jesus Christ His Son.

Jesus Speaks – Christmas Day One Hundred Ninety and Four

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” Matthew 5:7 (KJV)

Meekness, nor mercy are weaknesses, but great strength. Like meekness mercy is often misunderstood.  I do not think I can begin to fully understand it myself, but I know that I sure need it, and so does the people of the whole world.

The GOD who created all things extends mercy to us all every moment of every day.  The next breath you and I take, comes at God’s mercy.  The next beat of our heart comes by God’s mercy. He extends mercy so that we might have every opportunity to know Him.

What do I want for Christmas?

I want and receive God’s mercy; therefore, I want to be sure that I extend mercy to others around me.  If I cannot grant it to others is good evidence that I have not received it.

Jesus Speaks – Christmas Day One Hundred Ninety and Five

Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6 (KJV)

Have you ever been hungry?  I mean so hungry your belly began to swell from malnutrition, and you were getting weaker and weaker.  I have never been that hungry.

Jesus’s words above are not about physical hunger, but a hunger for righteousness.  A thirst for righteousness.

What do I want for Christmas?

I want that my greatest desire, hunger and thirst to be for righteousness to reign in my heart, mind and life; for my community, State, Nation and the world.

When righteousness reigns in our hearts there will be peace on earth.  That righteousness is Jesus Christ.

Jesus Speaks – Christmas Day One Hundred Ninety and Six

Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” Matthew 5:5 (KJV)

With pride, arrogance, and power being the perfume of the culture we live in this verse stands in stark contrast to the rest of the world.

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to have a deeper understanding of meekness; the meekness of which Jesus speaks; and to have that in me;  I want to see more fully that meekness is not weakness, but strength under control, and I want the kingdom of Jesus Christ in this world to practice it.

Pride, arrogance and power are a stench in the nostrils of holy GOD.

Jesus Speaks – Christmas Day One Hundred Ninety and Seven

Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.” Matthew 5:4 (KJV)

In recent days in the community in which I live two life long residents have passed away, and their families are mourning their losses.  The first was discovered by a neighbor  in his home; the other died in a tragic tractor and haybaler accident on a hillside.  The people in Jenkins and Barry County are strong and resilient people, and were strong at the funerals.

A friend of mine, and fellow School Bus driver passed away on Thursday after suffering a very short bout with what had been diagnosed as bone cancer in the beginning, then I do not know, after they changed that diagnosis. His funeral is tomorrow [June 13].

There is much mourning in our world over the deaths of family members and friends.

What do I want for Christmas?

I want those families to be comforted, encouraged, and blessed; and if those family members and friends do not know the Lord; I want you to know that Jesus loves you so much that He died for you.

I want us to mourn for our sins; to be grieved when we have offended God in our iniquities, and transgressions; and to seek His forgiveness.

 

Jesus Speaks – Christmas Day One Hundred Ninety and Eight

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3 (KJV)

What do I want for Christmas?

I want the “kingdom of heaven” to be mine through Jesus Christ my Lord; to be so dependent upon Him that there is no pride, arrogance, or selfish bone in me.

This morning I wrote of this verse in my journal;

Those who have no rebelling spirit against God and right; those who humble themselves  before God and the holy; those who realize their purpose in life is to give glory to God, the One who made all things.

Jesus Speaks – Christmas Day One Hundred Ninety and Nine

Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19 (KJV)

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to always follow Jesus, and that means to walk like Him, live like Him, love like Him; even to hate the things He hates, and that is sin – starting with my own; and go fishing for men.

To follow Jesus is to die to myself, and live for Him.

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me.” Galations 2:20

When Will Jesus Return?

Over the many years people and so called prophets, and preachers have predicted and set dates in which our Lord Jesus would come again.  We see that His people are still here and many of the “prophets” have went to eternity; wherever that may be.

The founder of the JW cult predicted that Jesus would return in 1914 or so, and we know that did not happen.  In 1988 there was a booklet that came out called “Eighty Eight Reasons Jesus Will Return in 1988”; and again he has not come.

Jesus Himself said,  “…I will come again, and receive you unto Myself…”  (John 14:3), and we were warned about people saying “…Where is the promise of His coming?…” (2 Peter 3:4).  Jesus Himself said,

“Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man cometh.” Matthew 25:13 (KJV)

There is our answer to the question.  When will Jesus return?  We do not know.  Even Jesus; the Son of God and God the Son;  while He walked on earth among his fellow man did not know the time of His return (Matthew 24:36).

The reason we do not know is that this way we live in preparation for His coming.  We ought always be ready; bearing the fruit of the Spirit (Galations 5:22), and continually being filled by the Spirit of Christ; being His witnesses in a dark world, and  ”…So much the more, as ye see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25).

There are plenty of signs we can see that declares something is about to happen.  The nation of Israel is daily attacked by her enemy, Christians are daily persecuted by beheading, and sale as slaves in some parts of the world.  There is much fear.

Christian!  Lift up your head.  Your redemption draws near.

Jesus Speaks – Christmas Day 200

Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17 (KJV)

What do I want for Christmas?

I want repentance to be a daily event of my life; to repent when I sin, and I want all who call themselves followers of Christ Jesus to know that turning from sin; from darkness to the Light, is evidence of faith in Him.

True Repentance is turning from sin to Christ; and we are not guaranteed another day.

Jesus Speaks – Christmas Day Two Hundred and One

Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” Matthew 4:10 (KJV)

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to worship the Lord my God, know Him, and love Him with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and all my strength; that I will serve Him faithfully; that the word of God be my source of fuel/food each day, all day; to stand against the enemy of God and His Word.

“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12

Jesus Speaks – Christmas Day Two Hundred and Two

“It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.” [Jesus Christ] Matthew 4:7 (KJV)

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to have the wisdom of God, the knowledge of God and His Word to be able to tell the devil when I am tempted to test the LORD, because of some foolish deed, what the Scripture says, and to watch him flee.

“Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” James 4:7

Jesus Speaks – Christmas Day Two Hundred and Three

What do I want for Christmas?

I want the Word of God, and God the Son to be my only fuel/food for defense against the wiles of the enemy, when he endeavors to distract me from the work of God; and to like Jesus stand upon the power of His Word.

It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” [Jesus Christ] Matthew 4:4

Christmas Day Two Hundred and Fifteen

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to think, and I want every man who aspires to be godly; to think on the LORD and His Word, to love his wife, and children; and to care for them as a husband and father ought; and to put the things of this world on the back burner; and to thank God every day for His blessings on us.

Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up, and lose thy sweet words.” Proverbs 23:6-8 (KJV)

“But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: these are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.”  [Jesus Christ]  Matthew 15:18-20

Christmas Day Two Hundred and Eighteen

My wife and I went to spend some time with our son in Arkansas, and to celebrate the fifth birthday of their youngest daughter.  I had intended to do some post automatically, but I went off and forgot; so that is why there has been no Christmas countdown on Friday May 20, or Saturday May 21.  Back to the countdown.

What do I want for Christmas?

This is another LORD’S Day; so I want Jesus to always be my treasure, and for nothing to come between my love for Him.

There is treasure to be desired and oil in the dwelling of the wise; but a foolish man spendeth it up.” Proverbs 21:20 (KJV)

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” [Jesus] Matthew 6:21

Christmas Day Two Hundred Thirty and Six

What do I want for Christmas?

I want the Christians of the United States of America to open their eyes to see the work, power, and glory of God; to hear and believe the Word of God over the words of men – New anchors, politicians, even preachers who lift up men rather than God; to know that the word of God is true, and will prevail, and the words of men will prove to be a lie.

Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven: but whosoever shall do and teach them, the same shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say unto you, That except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:17-20 (KJV)

Christmas Day 240

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to always live my life for Jesus Christ to be a good, godly, unwavering, Biblical Christian; and I want all those who name the name of Jesus Christ to get on our knees, before we open our mouths, move our tongues, flap our lips, or write with pen and paper or computer; repent of our sins; and find what God the LORD expects of us; and then do it with all our hearts and minds.

And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” Romans 13:11-14 (KJV)

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.” Matthew 6:33-34

Christmas Day Two Hundred Forty and Four

What do I want for Christmas?

I want today to be a day of faith, joy and peace for all who will seek the face of the Lord Jesus.

Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near…” Isaiah 55:6 (KJV)

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Matthew 6:33

“Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” Matthew 7:7

Day Two Hundred Fifty and Eight

Everyday as Christmas.

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to be able to live so that I can always be a help and benefit to others; my family, my neighbor, and any who might not even like me, and might even consider me their enemy. I do not consider anyone my enemy, except the one called Lucifer.

He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?” Micah 6:8 (KJV)

“Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.” Matthew 5:7

 

Day Two Hundred Sixty and Eight

What do I want for Christmas?

I want my friends, and sister’s in law parents; Denny and Linda Ball to have a wonderful day celebrating their fiftieth Wedding Anniversary; On this day in 1966 Denny and Linda were united in marriage.

May the Lord give them many more years together.

And He answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” Matthew 19:4-6 (KJV)

Christmas – Day 281

What do I want for Christmas?

On this Palm Sunday, remembering the last days in the life of our Savior before His death on the cross, burial, and bodily resurrection; I want to grow more in love with my Lord and Savior, and to appreciate everyday as a day He has given me to celebrate Him.

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. And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, and brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set Him thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest. And when He was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.” Matthew 21:1-11 (KJV)

Day Two Hundred Eighty and Three

What do I want for Christmas?

Many of you who read this blog knows that I drive a School Bus as well as being a pastor of a Country Church.  I have a pet peeve that really bothers me while I am driving the bus, and our own vehicles so my “want” for today is because of that “Pet peeve”.

I want people who are out driving in the early morning, just before sunrise, to drive with your headlights on.  Do you realize that you are not visible at times, and a good driver makes herself/himself as visible as possible. I want  you to be visible, be seen, in order that you and others might make it to work, and then home again in one piece.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (KJV)

Even Jesus said “Let your light so shine”.

Day Two Hundred Ninety and Eight

What do I want for Christmas?

Since the last Sunday of March is the annual day of celebrating Easter or Resurrection Day; I want every Christian, and all people to realize that we celebrate His resurrection every Sunday, every Lord’s Day, and that it has been said, “Easter is the exclamation point to ‘Merry Christmas'”.

“Jesus is risen.  He is risen indeed.”

“But the angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen, as He said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.”” Matthew 28:5-7 (NKJV)

Day Three Hundred and One

What do I want for Christmas?

I want people who profess to be Christians [followers of Christ] to believe what the Scriptures say of God, His Son, His love, His grace, His goodness, His work, the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus God’s Son, the Son of God; and God the Son; of His work with the people of Israel in our day, and that yet to come; to believe that every word is true, just, right and holy; and to know that the LORD God can be trusted with every detail of life and living.

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; The commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; The judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, Yea, than much fine gold; Sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them Your servant is warned, And in keeping them there is great reward.” Psalm 19:7-11 (NKJV)

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.” Matthew 24:35

Day Three Hundred and Eleven

What do I want for Christmas?

I want all Christians, Presidents, Presidential candidates, Senators, Congress, Governors, Mayors, and City officials; and all people to realize the preciousness of a child, born and  unborn; to call for a stop of the murder of the unborn human child.

Jesus said,

Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14 (NKJV)

Day Three Hundred and Fourteen

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to better understand the prophetic Word of God, God’s judgments, and His way in the earthquakes, storms, floods, droughts, sicknesses in world; His grace and love; especially in the U. S. of A.  for all those who name the name of Christ to have that understanding.

Therefore I said, “Surely these are poor. They are foolish; for they do not know the way of the Lord, the judgment of their God. I will go to the great men and speak to them, for they have known the way of the Lord, the judgment of their God.” Jeremiah 5:4-5 (NKJV)
“Hear the word of the Lord, You children of Israel, for the Lord brings a charge against the inhabitants of the land: “There is no truth or mercy or knowledge of God in the land.” Hosea 4:1

My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.” Hosea 4:6
“When it is evening you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red’; and in the morning, ‘It will be foul weather today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ Hypocrites! You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you cannot discern the signs of the times. A wicked and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign shall be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.” Matthew 16:2-4

Day Three Hundred and Eighteen

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to have the greater Treasure of my heart be the Treasure of your heart, that we all might speak good things from the treasure of our hearts.

For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good things, and an evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth evil things.” Matthew 12:34b-35 (NKJV)

Day Three Hundred Twenty and One

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to want what is best for you and others; whether it be wealth, good health, family, peace, justice, love, grace, etc.; over what I want for myself.

Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12 (NKJV)

Day Three Hundred Forty and One

What do I want for Christmas?

I want the faith of Jesus Christ in me strong enough to stand with Him and for Him no matter what the circumstances of life may be; to stand with Him and for Him in comfort shows that He is my treasure in life; to stand with Him and for Him in trials and tribulations shows that He is my strength, and way of life and living.

You who love the LORD, hate evil! He preserves the souls of His saints; He delivers them out of the hand of the wicked.” Psalm 97:10 (NKJV)

“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21

Day Three Hundred Forty and Two

What do I want for Christmas?

I want to live in peace with all people; as much as is possible; and want all to live  in peace with me.

“When a man’s ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him.” Proverbs 16:7 (NKJV)

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.” Matthew 5:43-45 (NKJV)

“If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” Romans 12:18

What Do I Want For Christmas? Day 357

What do I want for Christmas?

I want every pastor who believes the Bible to be the inerrant, infallible word of God, and that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the Living God; and God the Living Son to begin writing on a weblog [Blog] such as this; and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the possibility of reaching millions, maybe billions of souls for the name of Christ.

Jesus said,

“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (NKJV)

Born in a Manger Meek and Mild, But not for Long

In Christian churches every Sunday the resurrection of Christ Jesus is mentioned, He is worshipped as the risen Saviour. We can say, and do say that we are His and He is ours. He is a glorious Saviour, Lord, risen Lord, and coming King.

There is an obscure set of verses in Matthew. The event; part of the events of the resurrection of Christ; is not mentioned by any of the other three Gospel writers.

There are some who do not believe in the resurrection period who classify it as myth, or merely allegory. However, if we call this merely “Allegory”, then we call Scripture a lie; and it is not.

Hear the writing of Matthew:

“And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.” Matthew 27:51-53 (KJV)

At the death of Jesus (v. 50) the veil of the temple was torn from the top to the bottom; signifying that the way to the presence and throne of God was open for all who would come through the cross of Jesus, and there was an earthquake. Notice that the graves of saints; Old Testament believers; were opened, and after the resurrection of Jesus many of these saints arose, and came out of their graves and appeared to other people.

There is much mystery in these verses. These people are mentioned nowhere else in Scripture. Let me give you a quote from the MacArthur Study Bible:

27:52 bodies of the saints…were raised. Matthew alone mentions this miracle. Nothing more is said about these people, which would be unlikely if they remained on earth for long. Evidently, these people were given glorified bodies; they appeared “to many” (v. 53), enough to establish the reality of the miracle; and then they no doubt ascended to glory– a kind of foretaste of 1 Thess. 4:16.”

These were part of the “First Fruits” of the first resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:20, 23; Revelation 20:5, 6).

There is life, and joy, and peace for all who will come by faith to the crucified, buried, and risen Saviour. He is coming again soon. When He comes again for His Church it will be in the air. It will not be secret; but only the redeemed of the Lord will be going with Him.

Betrayed? Continue On

Have you ever felt betrayed? It can be from a friend, family member, work place employee, or even a spouse. Betrayal is not pleasant to experience. Have you ever sensed that it was coming?

I am not talking about a paranoia; but rather a reasoning thought that someone is about to leave you with the cat in the bag. I cannot begin to imagine how being sinless, and the perfect Lamb of God, and knowing that there was one of my followers about to betray me; how that would feel.

Jesus had that happen. The verses for today tell of that; at least that it was near. We read,

“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 Passover, and the Son of Man is betrayed to be crucified.” Matthew 26:1-2 (KJV)

Jesus knew this was about to happen, yet, He goes to Jerusalem for the Passover, and He knows it will be His last.

When we have trusted Jesus as our Lord and Saviour it is the work of the Holy Spirit to conform us into the image of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29). When He lives in us we must die daily to the desires, lust, greed, and anger of the world (1 Corinthians 15:31).

When it comes down to it for the Christian – the follower of Christ – we like Him go on with our work, our ministry, our lives; trusting the Lord of all with what happens in our lives. The devil is the ultimate betrayer.

Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. 1 John 4:4

Feeling betrayed today? Remember Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God. He was betrayed and He went to the cross, bled and died for us.

Shutting Up the Kingdom of Heaven

There is something about the gospel of Christ that the worldly man, even some of the spiritual elite who hate it. Some people want, desire people to follow them, their teachings, their philosophies, and when the true gospel of Christ Jesus is presented; the death, burial and resurrection of Christ they stand against it.

One of the Communist leaders of the past said, “Religion is an opiate of the people” or something very similar to that. Sad part about that statement is is that it is mostly a true statement. Religion blinds minds, cripples thinking, and makes captives of a people who ought to be free.

Something many people need to realize is that true Christianity is not a religion. It is a relationship with Christ Jesus. Jesus Christ came into the world to free us from our sin, and its condemnation; our captivity to fear. There were those in the days of Jesus Christ who would not believe the message of Christ, because it freed the people from the binding message of their religion.

Jesus said,

“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 (KJV)

This is the beginning of seven woes announced, by Jesus, against the scribes who were teachers of the law, and the Pharisees who were a religious sect of the day. During the days of Jesus it would seem that their duty, and work was to keep people from the kingdom of God and heaven. In essence to keep their followers from following Jesus Christ.

These woes are announcements against them. They are working ruin. Religion for the most part is against Christ. Religion is the attempts of men, women, and children to try to gain God’s favor their own way; in their own personal labors. Faith in Christ Jesus is coming to God His Way trusting only in the work of Jesus Christ. Jesus is for the grace of God. Grace is shown to us through the cross of Jesus. God putting on His Son all the unrighteousness, all the filth of sin, and its condemnation; and pouring His wrath on His only begotten Son. Then, when you or I look to Jesus God places on us all the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

Now, all those who receive this precious, eternal gift, have eternal life with Jesus forever. Do not let the teaching of men and religion that is false keep you from the kingdom. The kingdom is Jesus Christ Himself.

Scripture and Ever Present GOD

Some men have questioned Jesus on the teaching of the resurrection. These questions come from men who do not believe in the spiritual things. They do not believe in angels, or a resurrection; so Jesus knows that they are trying to deceive and trick Him into an answer that will trap Himself.

These were the Sadducees. A religious sect of the time which is believed to be made up of the Hebrew priesthood; and rejected many of the traditions of the elders, according to NELSON’S NEW ILLUSTRATED BIBLE DICTIONARY. They hated the Pharisees, and Jesus; yet both sects tried to trap Jesus, and eventually were together in His crucifixion.

Seven brothers for one bride (Matthew 22:23-28). A matter of Levirite marriage where if a man has a brother and he marrys a woman, and then he dies the next brother is to take his wife. The question is a ludicrous one; at least in my thinking. Hear the words of Jesus to them:

“Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven. But as touching the resurrection of the dead, have ye not read that which was spoken unto you by God, saying, I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living. And when the multitude heard this, they were astonished at his doctrine.” Matthew 22:29-33 (KJV)

They were in error because they did not know the Scriptures; yet they prided themselves in knowing Scripture. The problem was – they did not believe it.

Jesus confronted them of their ignorance, and unbelief. Really it comes down to the point of questioning, if they even believed in God. Jesus put the men in their proper place.

In the resurrection things will be different from earth. Jesus says that there will not be any marriage in the resurrection, nor will any be given in marriage, but we will be as the angels. For Jesus to say that God is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; is to show that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are in fact still very much alive.

“I am the God of Abraham, … Isaac, … and Jacob” shows that God is a very present God. A “NOW” God. He did not say “I was…”. He did not say “I will be…” He said, “I am”.

Do you know Him through His Son Jesus Christ? Do you know Him NOW?

A Journey of Passion

This was Jesus’s final journey to the city on the hill. He would not make it again, and He knew it. Yet, He journeyed to the place where He would die.

Would you with joy, and passion go to the place you knew would mean your death? Of course you or I cannot know those things, as He did. We do need to know, though, that every day could be our last. None of us have any assurance of the next day.

Knowing His days on earth were few; Jesus traveled on teaching His disciples, and telling them what death He would die:

“And Jesus going up to Jerusalem took the twelve disciples apart in the way, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of Man shall be betrayed unto the chief priests and unto the scribes, and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify Him: and the third day He shall rise again.” Matthew 20:17-19 (KJV)

We read in other places that He had his mind set on going to Jerusalem (Matthew 16:21; Luke 13:22; 17:11; 18:31; 19:28). Some have called this journey “His Passion”, and I think that to be a good description of His heart and mind.

He came to live for the righteousness, and glory of the Father; and to die for the sins of mankind; to conquer death, sin, hell and the grave. That is what He means when He says, “And the third day He shall rise again”.

His journey in life was to glorify His Father, and to do so through obedience, even unto death. He died for you and me. He carried our sins, and its condemnations away in burial, and left them there; and rose bodily from the grave. He forever lives and saves all who will come to Him.

Our Need for Forgiveness, and to Forgive

The topic of forgiveness is an often neglected teaching; but much needed. It is also a matter of much discussion when it is brought up. Sadly, it can even generate heated discussions that lead to a need to forgive.

The matter of forgiveness is an easy subject to talk about, but sometimes hard to put into practice. Yet the Christian is not requested to forgive, but commanded to do so. We are told by Jesus that if we do not forgive, we will not be forgiven (Matthew 6:14-15).

I must ask myself this question, If Jesus Christ can forgive me, then how can I not forgive others? I know that is a hard question, but it is mine; and I think an honest one. Peter the apostle even asked Jesus;

“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.” Matthew 18:21-22 (KJV)

If someone keeps on offending you, causing harm to you, your mind, your heart, your family, your home, your car, your land, etc. Just how many times do we forgive them?

If we are sinners who hated God, His Word, His Son, the cross, and everything holy, righteous and just; before we came to Jesus; and He forgave me/us; and He continues to forgive everytime we sin against HIm; then why should we not also forgive those who sin against us?

There is a recent show of forgiveness among a group of church people. After a young man has come into their church on a Wednesday evening, and set with them through a Bible study when they go into prayer he began shooting, and killing them; nine in number. Their word toward the man following the incident were words of forgiveness. God bless them.

The next time you are offended, or injured by someone; forgive them.

How can one forgive such atrocities as mentioned above? Through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus forgave His tormentors, His killers, those who would be His enemies. He forgave me. I can forgive too.

Seeing, Hearing and Understanding

Seeing and hearing are an important part of human living and existence. Without seeing we could not see the beauties of the created order around us; neither could we see to navigate as we walk, ride or drive through a countryside.

Without hearing we could not hear the sounds of animals in the creation, neither the cries of our children as young babies crying out for care and nourishment; neither the voices of our spouses and friends, or other family members. We would not be able to hear the warning shouts of someone warning us of an upcoming danger.

These two senses are an important part of human life. They are also an important part of our spiritual existence. In the spiritual realm we can be very easily deceived, unless we have someone in whom we can trust and depend.

In Jesus’s days on earth He taught people, and called people to Himself; teaching them how to live in the Word of God, to do justly, to love mercy, and how to walk humbly with God. Yet, there were many who would not hear; nor would they see who He really is. Jesus says that this too is a fulfillment of prophecy:

“And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: for this people’s heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.” Matthew 13:14-16 (KJV)

Isaiah is the prophet whom Jesus quotes (Isaiah 6:9-10). The blindness and deafness of the religious leaders was fulfillment of that. It is a truth we cannot neglect to hear. When the truth of Scripture is rejected the truths of God will grow more and more dim; the hearing will fade away into oblivion and there will be no knowledge or understanding of God or His Word.

Those who know God through His Son Jesus Christ love the Word of God, and hide in the heart that we might not sin against God (Psalm 119:11), and make it a light for our path (Psalm 119:105).

The path to understanding God and His Word is through the cross of Jesus Christ who died for our sins, was buried, and bodily arose from the grave. Believe Him, trust His Word. It is the way of life, and life everlasting.

Treasures of Your Heart

I heard a story of an old preacher who was in one of those cafe’s where you could come in and set at a bar near the kitchen, and order your meal; a hamburger, club sandwich, fries, or chicken fried steak, fried green tomatoes, etc.

Anyway this preacher had set down near a man who used the vilest, cruelest, nastiest language the preacher had ever heard. A waitress delivered the cursing man’s meal to him, and was about to take a bite when the preacher spoke to him, and said, “Are you going to eat with that same filthy mouth your talking with?”

There are times the vile filth that comes from people’s mouths is not even worth noticing; but the people are in grave need of God, and His salvation through Christ Jesus.

Jesus said of the mouth:

“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 12:34-37 (KJV)

Of course the people to whom Jesus was speaking were the religious leaders; and He was not speaking of cursing, and what we might call “filthy language”; but He was speaking of the hearts of men; of mankind. What comes out of your mouth reveals your heart.

Is that a troubling thought? It should cause some trouble in all our thoughts, and hearts. What kind of words do you speak? Do they lift up and edify others? Do they always, or many times tear others down?

Beware Christian. The words you and I speak do come from our heart. It is best if we think before we speak; and think from a heart that is clean and right with God. When we do that we will speak words that not only edify others, but will glorify our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.