Receiving Jesus

“I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against Me.’ Now I tell you before it come, that, when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, ‘He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth Me; and he that receiveth Me receiveth Him that sent Me.”
   John 13:18-20

One would betray Him. Jesus knew the hearts of those who were with Him at the Passover meal, and He instituted the Supper. He also knew they would all flees from Him, and one would even deny Him.

Scripture was fulfilled. What God has spoken God will bring to pass. Its coming to pass does not, however, negate the responsibility of those who come out on the wrong end of the fulfillment.

When an individual receives Jesus Christ they also receive the Father (the One who sent Him), and Jesus even tells us above, “He that receives whomsoever I send receives Me…”  If you have received Jesus Christ then you will also receive those who He sends; whether it be pastor, preacher, missionary or and brother or sister in Christ.

Where do you stand in position with Christ Jesus? Are you in receipt of His word and doing it?

Miracles or Him?

Now when He was in Jerusalem at the passover, in the feast day, many believed in His name, when they saw the miracles which he did.  But Jesus did not commit Himself unto them, because He knew all men, and needed not that any should testify of man: for He knew what was in man. John 2:23-25

Jesus had a following of the mass number of people, who saw what miracles He did. In this chapter of John’s gospel we see Him turn water to wine and provides the host of the wedding the best wine ever drank by Adam’s race.

They were following Jesus because they saw the miracles that He did. Jesus knew their hearts and their thinking. Please note, that, He “Did not commit Himself to them”. Just because someone believes Jesus for a miracle does not mean they are delivered from their sin.

When one follows Jesus for salvation through faith in Him, we know He does miracles, and believe Him even when He does not do miracles for us. We do not just stop believing Him because we think He is not hearing our prayers, or doing what we had hoped He would do for us.

Jesus has committed Himself to those with that kind of faith. Faith that believes in the dark what has been revealed in the light.

There are many who profess to having followed Jesus at one time or another in their lives; only to fall away. You were drawn to Him because of a healing, or the need for healing, or a great need, and maybe it did not come as you had hoped. You were following the miracle, but not following the person of Jesus Christ.

Jesus died for your sins (our sins), He was buried, and He rose again. You need to trust solely in Him no matter what. The greatest miracle He does is change of heart, mind and life.

The Judgment that Evil Judges

And the men that held Jesus mocked Him, and smote Him.  And when they had blindfolded Him, they struck Him on the face, and asked Him, saying, “Prophesy, who is it that smote    thee?”  And many other things blasphemously spake they against Him.                      Luke 22:63-65

We often hear the words, “Judge not” from many who make unrighteous judgments themselves. Yes, those of us who have been redeemed by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ often do make unrighteous judgments too, but let’s be honest. Is not telling others, “Judge not” itself making a judgment.

It usually comes from someone who does not agree with what has been said, whether it is right or wrong; according to Scripture; makes no difference.

The most unrighteous judgment ever made in the history of the world, and Adam’s race is seen in the verses above. The Righteous One being judged, mocked, smitten in the face, and blindfolded to be asked to “Prophesy…” is nothing short of evil and blasphemous.

To treat our blessed Lord that way is the epitome of evil; and of evil judgments. So the next time you hurl the words “Judge not” at someone who made a Scriptural judgment, a righteous judgment,  remember the evil of your own heart, and your contempt for the Christ who as the Righteous Judge will one day judge you.

Remember believer, “There is therefore, now, no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus…” (Romans 8:1).

Humility

And He put forth a parable to those which were bidden, when He marked how they chose out the chief rooms; saying unto them,
“When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; and he that bade thee and him come and say to thee, ‘Give this man place;’ and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room. But when thou art bidden, go and sit down in the lowest room; that when he that bade thee cometh, he may say unto thee, ‘Friend, go up higher:’ then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee. For whosoever exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”                                                          Luke 14:7-11

Jesus used this parable to address the religious leaders of Israel who always sought to be the center of attention by taking the more honorable seating positions, because of their “Office” in life. They were the educated elite, and expected respect and honor from all who met them, and knew them.

This is a lesson for the disciples of Jesus as well. When we are invited to a wedding or any place of public prominence, we ought not expect to be better treated than the  honored guest.

Someone has said, “Humility is a funny thing. If you think you have it, you don’t.”

In humility we remember who we are before Holy God; we are wicked wretches apart from His marvelous mercy and grace. He will exalt us in His time when we turn to the Lord Jesus Christ who paid the penalty for our sins, was buried and He rose again.

Persistent Praying

And He said unto them,
“Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him?’ And he from within shall answer and say, ‘Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee.’ I say unto you, ‘Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.'”                                            Luke 11:5-8

In this short illustrative story Jesus is teaching us about persistent prayer. Persistence is related to having a burden, a need so great that you will not give up on seeing that it comes to pass.

Please note that I said “Need” not “want”. For the child of God the greatest need we see in our families, and  for our neighbors, and for strangers is that they need to recognize their lostness, their great need to turn from their sin, and to trust Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

In Jesus’s story it is of a friend who goes to a neighbor at midnight. The man has had a guest show up and he does not have the means of feeding and being a proper host to that friend. In his “troubling” his neighbor he awakens him from sleep to ask for help. It was a shame to a family in that day for a hosting family not to care for their guest by feeding them, even washing their feet. The man persist with his neighbor and finally wins out, because of his need and his persistence.

Now God our Father in Jesus Christ never sleeps, and He is never disturbed by our prayers. He is more disturbed by our lack of prayer, and especially our lack of persisting in prayer. If we have a great need, we ought to desire it so much; in His name; that we keep asking until God answers. We must remember it will be according to His will and in His time.

Do you have a lost friend, family member, neighbor? Are you continuing in prayer for them? Do not give up and quit. Keep on praying. Do you have a health need, or know someone who has a great health need? Keep praying, and be persistent in praying.

Read verses 9 through 13 as well.

Those Who Hear the Word of God, and Do It

Then came to Him His mother and His brethren, and could not come at Him for the press. And it was told Him by certain which said, “Thy mother and thy brethren stand without, desiring to see thee.” And He answered and said unto them,
“My mother and My brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.”                                                                           Luke 8:19-21

It was not the news media of the day that kept Mary and Jesus’s brethren from seeing Jesus; it was the great number of people who was there.

Jesus is making it clear that one’s who were hearing the word of God and doing it; applying what He said to their lives; these were the ones who were and are His brethren.

This should cause those who put Mary on a higher plain, or a place of veneration, or a place of intercession to have access to Jesus Himself is moot, and completely idolatrous worship. A place that Mary did, neither does not deserve.

Jesus is our Intercessor, our Mediator between God and Adam’s race (1 Timothy 2:5).

If you desire to know Jesus, then call out to Him in repentance and faith for forgiveness of sin, and He will hear you and He will save you. Then do what He says.

Two Foundations

And why call ye Me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to Me, and heareth My sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: he is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.                                                         Luke 6:46-49

Jesus is speaking of two different hearts.  Everyone who says, “Lord, Lord” will not enter His kingdom (Matthew 7:21). Just because one professes “Jesus is Lord” does not make it so.

Doing what He says is the fruit of our confession of Jesus. Believing Him and doing is the work of God which brings forth fruit of salvation, and Jesus is Lord of one’s life.

The one who lays the foundation of faith in Him, plus nothing, minus nothing, will have the faith that stands the test and trials of every storm, wind and rain, and flood.

If we say “Jesus is Lord” then let us build on that foundation (1 Corinthians 3:11). He is the exclusive way, the only way to God the Father, eternal life, peace and joy (John 14:6; Acts 4:12).

When the Son of Man Comes Again

But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory. And then shall He send His angels, and shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven.                                                        Mark 13:24-27

 

The Curse

And on the morrow, when they were come from Bethany, He was hungry: and seeing a fig tree afar off having leaves, He came, if haply He might find any thing thereon: and when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it,
“No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever.”
And His disciples heard it.                                    Mark 11:12-14

Jesus has not cursed anything up to this point, except, though not particularly mentioned as a curse, the teachings of the scribes and Pharisees (Matthew 23).

We are told in the verses that “He was hungry”, and He thought He could get a fig from a frig tree for a bite to eat. The tree was boasting of having fruit, due to its having leaves; yet it had no fruit.

O the fruitlessness of a religion that will not trust the truth of the whole of the word or God, the One whom God has sent, and the One who sent Him. There are many religious institutions today who den the truth of Scripture by trying to make Scripture fit with the times, the people, the culture. The institutions which do circles around the truth of God’s word trying to fit it with culture, appease and please people have the curse of the  Almighty on them.

Our task as Christians and Christian pastors and teachers is to bring the people in line with Scripture.

We are all cursed by sin and death due to sin. Jesus came and bore the curse for us, and paid our debt with His own life’s blood. Now, by the power of the Spirit of God (Holy Spirit) in us we live by His faith.

 

Gain the World and Lose Your Soul

And when He had called the people, with His disciples also, He said unto them,
“Whosoever will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but whosoever shall lose his life for My sake and the gospel’s, the same shall save it. For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul?
Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of Me and of My words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of Man be ashamed, when He cometh in the glory of His Father with the holy angels.”
Mark 8:34-38

When the culture and the world around us is promoting self, “Love yourself”, and as I mentioned yesterday, “Me too”, the Bible, Jesus still says, “Deny yourself”.

That is what the Christian life really is. It is a life of being a blessing to others by living as  God, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit guides us in His word. This adulterous and sinful generation does not need us to be like them. The world and the self loving culture needs to see us losing our lives for the name of Jesus Christ.

If you are thinking, “But no one will like me,” or “No one will promote me,” or “I won’t have any friends;” then, you deny the Lord Jesus and lose your own soul, and the Father and the Son will also be ashamed of you.

The answer is “Take up your cross” that is lay your life down for Him, and follow Him, and you will be blessed by Him.

No Need of the Physician

And when the scribes and Pharisees saw Him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto His disciples, “How is it that He eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?” When Jesus heard it, He saith unto them,
“They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”      Mark 2:16-17

Who is in need of a physician? Any who are sick. Who is in need of healing? The cripple, the blind, the leper. Who is in need of the Savior? All who are lost in the black darkness of sin and its condemnation, and shame.

Jesus is addressing people in the text above who considered themselves already righteous. It is quite obvious they considered themselves so because of their judgment against “Publicans and sinners”.

The publicans were the tax collectors of Israel, who were Jewish collecting taxes for the Roman government. So they were hated and despised because the Jewish leaders and people considered them as betrayers of Judaism. Sinners was those who were prostitutes, thieves, murderers, and ruffians who did not obey the laws of God and in particular the religious leaders definition of the law.

Who is in need of salvation? The point blank answer is all who are of Adam’s race. There are none of us who are righteous in the eyes of God. Those who see themselves as righteous cannot be saved. Not until they have their eyes open to the truth that they need the righteousness of God Himself.

The Bible clearly tells us, “There is none who are righteous; no not one” (Romans 3:10); and that, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

So, no matter who you are, you are unrighteous before God, until He gives to You His own righteousness; and that is through the death of Jesus Christ His Son on the cross, His burial, and His resurrection from the dead.

By calling on the name of the Lord in repentance (turning from your sin to the Savior), and calling on His name you will be saved. “There is no other name by which we can be saved” (Acts 4:12).

 

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?

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.

Compassion for the Multitude

Then Jesus called His disciples, and said,
“I have compassion on the multitude, because they continue with Me now three days, and have nothing to eat: and I will not send them away fasting, lest they faint in the way.”
And His disciples say unto Him, “Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude?” And Jesus saith unto them,
“How many loaves have ye?”
And they said, “Seven, and a few little fishes.” And He commanded the multitude to sit down on the ground. And He took the seven loaves and the fishes, and gave thanks, and brake them, and gave to His disciples, and the disciples to the multitude. And they did all eat, and were filled: and they took up of the broken meat that was left seven baskets full. And they that did eat were four thousand men, beside women and children. Matthew 15:32-38

Matthew 14:13-21 gives a similar miracle of Jesus but it is in fact and truth a different miracle. For instance, in Matthew 14 the number of men is clearly 5,000; in chapter15 it is 4,000. The numbers of fish and loaves of bread is different; 5 loaves and two fish verses 7 loaves and a few fish. A “few” being more than two.

One thing that surprises me in this event in a day, and the life of Jesus and His disciples is that they had just recently seen the earlier feeding of more people, and they ask Jesus, “Whence should we have so much bread in the wilderness, as to fill so great a multitude?”

Now, about the numbers; 4,000 men, because the women and children were not counted. Many have commented on this I am fairly sure; but think of this; since there was 4,000 men there is a great probability that there could have been a total of 12,000 or more. That is in figuring a wife, and one child for each man. The Scriptures ends this account, and the one in chapter 14 with the phrase, “beside women and children”.

The point is that many of these people had followed Jesus for receiving healing for various sicknesses, diseases, deliverance from demons, etc.. He looks at them having been with them three days and without food. Now He feeds them without any worry or  fear, but faith in the power of His Father to provide.

For the Christian today, we should be able to see Jesus’s compassion for the multitudes and be convinced that He is compassionate toward us as well. He will also supply and meet the individual needs as well.

Trust the work of Jesus, especially His work on the cross dying for our sins, His burial, and resurrection. The greatest miracle of Jesus, is the power of His grace to save a wretch like me.

 

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.

Remember the Words of the Apostles

“Remember the words…by the apostles… How they told you that there would be mockers in the last time who would walk according to their own ungodly lusts. These are sensual persons, who cause divisions, not having the Spirit.” Jude 18-19 (NKJV).

A continual warning, and caveat’ to stand your ground, be faithful, follow the teachings of the apostles, etc.; is much needed, but too many of our minds can become redundant. We need to be encouraged by the words of Jude and the words of any preacher who is teaching us to stand guard over our heart, and against the teachings and teachers which would lead us away from the truth.

These apostates are actually haters of God; yet use the name of God to have their way in Christian circles. Jude in no way is saying to us that all true teachers of God’s Word are infallible, but that they will be faithful to proclaiming the truth of God. We can all make mistakes. It seems that we, in our humanity are almost prone to make one now and then, just to remind us that we are still, in fact, fallen creatures; who have been redeemed by the perfect Savior.

However, these apostate heretics, are those who purposely teach doctrines contrary to God and His Word to draw a following for themselves, put their fleeced flocks money in their own pockets, and live in lavish homes, and estates. Now, before any one flies off the proverbial handle, let me add that there is nothing wrong with having or gaining wealth; as long as it has been done by hard work and labor; without taking advantage of the weak; and God is given all the glory for it. God gives wealth to enable those with it to be stewards and help the weak; and that includes the widow, the orphan, the poor, and downtrodden. These take no thought of others, however. The lavish homes and estates are almost their personal trademarks.

They are “sensual”, and that can be greedy, filled with lusts; and lusts can be for anything including power, position, popularity, and pomp. When the truth is not proclaimed, the one proclaiming that which is contrary to the truth are the dividers. That is something we always need to remember.

One of the teachings which is popular among many churches and pastors is the teaching about sex, using Scripture, but using the most lewd, crude, and shocking forms of “language” that can be heard today. “It’s part of our culture” those using it say. “They will not listen unless we speak that way”, they continue. We are always to speak the language which will glorify our Lord, and His language is not lewd, crude, or “shock jock” style. The Bible deals with sexual matters many times, but always treating it with respect, and even mystery; and so should those who are supposedly trying to teach people. In many cases using sensual language which inspires lust, rather than genuine love; they destroy the purity of God’s Word and its teaching. These are sensual dividers.

These types of talks draw the crowds; just as motor crosses, NASCAR, boxing, wrestling and the Olympics. Little for the glory of God is done in any of the these events. They are for some to make money, and others to spend and or lose it. It may be popular, but popular does not make it holy or right.

Many times, when the one who comes in exposing the lies for what they are, they are always the one who is accused of causing division. It is the one’s who are teaching and preaching the lies who are the dividers. The division-makers do not have the Spirit of God, and if not dealt with by the truth, and with firmness, will themselves be inhabitants of hell. They must be confronted, and given the opportunity of repentance, and finding genuine peace with God.

Be strong in the faith. Grow in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Confront and hate the evil, and expose it. Love the good, and the godly. Love God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength.

Invitation

Jesus saith unto them,
“Come and dine.”
And none of the disciples durst ask Him, “Who art Thou?” knowing that it was the Lord. Jesus then cometh, and taketh bread, and giveth them, and fish likewise.
This is now the third time that Jesus shewed himself to his disciples, after that he was risen from the dead.                                              John 21:12-14

How marvelous it is to hear our Savior invite is to come to Him. How sweet it must have been for the disciples, after the Lord had revealed Himself, after His resurrection; to hear Him say, “Come and dine.”

Since the fishermen had decided to go back to fishing; probably due to their not knowing what to do; they did what they knew.

When they have gotten back near the shore they see a man, not knowing yet that it was the risen Jesus, and He has told them to cast their net on the right side. They did and caught a great number of fish (153).

Jesus has got them to come ashore, hauling in the great catch, and He has fish cooking on the coals of fire, and gives them a call to come and dine.

When we are busy about our tasks in life, and at times do not think about the Lord, we come to realize the Lord is there waiting for us, and He has the meal, the meat, the grace, the love and mercy already for us to partake.

Hear Him when He says, “Come and dine.”

The Denier

And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him, “Art not thou also one of His disciples?” He denied it, and said, “I am not.”
One of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, saith, “Did not I see thee in the garden with Him?” Peter then denied again: and immediately the cock crew.                        John 18:25-27

To deny is to disown something. Dictionary dot com gives several definitions, but the fifth one fits with what Peter did – “to refuse to recognize or acknowledge; disown; disavow; repudiate: to deny one’s gods.

Jesus had told Peter and the other disciples that they would flee from Him, and Peter was  the one who said, “I will never forsake You”, and Jesus told Him that he would not only flee from Him, but that he would also deny Him. John records only two denials, the other gospels show us three.

We are bold to proclaim Him when we are with like minded people and brethren of the faith. What about when someone who is hostile to the faith of Christ? Do we stand in faith and still proclaim Him; or do we deny Him?

Let us not be too quick to judge Peter. If we say or think, “I would never deny my Jesus” then we best be on our guard, because sure enough it will happen.

May we be faithful in hiding God’s word in our hearts, spending much time in secret prayer, that we might not sin against Him by denying Him. Let us pray for faith and courage to always stand for Him in the power of the Holy Spirit and to be brave, bold, and knowledgeable in the faith.

Know The Father And The Son

“If ye had known Me, ye should have known My Father also: and from henceforth ye know Him, and have seen Him.”
Philip saith unto Him, “Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us.” Jesus saith unto him,
“Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou, ‘Shew us the Father?’ Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak unto you I speak not of Myself: but the Father that dwelleth in Me, He doeth the works. Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me: or else believe Me for the very works’ sake.”                                                                                  John 14:7-11

What can be said to help in understanding the words of Jesus? If you know Jesus you know the Father also. If you know the Father you know the Son. If you believe the Father you believe the Son. If You believe the Son you believe the Father.

If you see the Son you see the Father. If you see the works of Jesus You see the works of the Father. Believe Him.

More Than Washing Feet

So after He had washed their feet, and had taken His garments, and was set down again, He said unto them,
“Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call Me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.”                                   John 13:12-15

This was the final full day of Jesus’s life. He was quite aware of His destiny, and the end result He knew to be victorious, and He and His Father would be glorified.

Jesus gets down on His knees, takes a bowl and a towel, and has washed the disciples feet. He is teaching them, and all who read of this event a great lesson. It is much more than washing feet; it is living a life for others; even loving them unto death of one’s self.

How willing am I to give my life to save the life of another person? Maybe for my wife, my children, grandchildren; but for a neighbor. Willing to serve a neighbor in need? Yes! Dying to save the life of a neighbor, especially one I do not know? One who possibly even dislikes me? I would be willing to help them change a flat tire on their car, maybe, if I saw their house about to catch fire get it put out before it starts burning. But to give my life? How about you?

Lord Jesus, You gave Your life for me, and even now I know You have washed my feet, and I see that clearly by Your death on the cross for my sins, Your burial, and finishing the work by rising from the dead. Help me to be willing, and when and if it is needed that I give my life for one in need.

The Great Shepherd and His Sheep

Jesus answered them,
“I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in My Father’s name, they bear witness of Me. But ye believe not, because ye are not of My sheep, as I said unto you.
My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me: and I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of My hand. My Father, which gave them Me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.
                                                                   John 10:25-30

They have shown not only doubt, but also great contempt for Jesus and His teachings; not believing His words or His works. The religious rulers who worshiped their religion rather than the One who deserved the worship.

They had just asked, more like demanded, that Jesus show them He was the Messiah. They wanted Him to do some glorious thing. They were blind to the truth of who is was and is. He had already did mighty works which they tried to contribute to the power of the devil. They were in truth rejecting the teachings of Moses, and they claimed to be his disciples.

These verses of our text today are from the “Good Shepherd” text where Jesus says, “I am the Good Shepherd” (v. 14), and all who hear His voice are His sheep and they follow Him.

From the text above let us glean a few things from it.

First, Jesus works in His Father’s name, and the works He does is His witness as to who He is.  Second, these accusers do not believe Him and are not His sheep.  Third, Jesus’s sheep hear His voice, Jesus knows them, and they follow Him. Fourth, He gives those who are His sheep and follow Him eternal life. Fifth, all those who are His sheep will never perish, neither will they ever be plucked out of His hand. Sixth, it is His Father who gives Him these sheep. Seventh, none is able to pluck them out of the Father’s hand. Jesus then tells us that He and the Father are One.

When you receive eternal life is at that moment you have in repentant faith called on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, receiving His gift of grace given us by the death of Jesus on the cross, His burial, and He rising from the grave, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father (Hebrews 1:1-3). Do you hear His voice? Call out to Him.

Lord Of The Elements

And when even was now come, His disciples went down unto the sea, and entered into a ship, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus was not come to them. And the sea arose by reason of a great wind that blew. So when they had rowed about five and twenty or thirty furlongs, they see Jesus walking on the sea, and drawing nigh unto the ship: and they were afraid. But He saith unto them,
“It is I; be not afraid.”
Then they willingly received Him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.                                              John 6:16-21

Walking on water. Only one Man ever accomplished doing that with success. There is the gospel account where Jesus bids Peter to come to Him, Peter gets out of the boat and does for a moment, but when he sees the waves, the rough sea around him, he sinks calling for the Lord to help him (Matthew 14:26-31).

So who has the authority to take control over the elements, and to command others to even do so, but God? No one.

We must recognize who Jesus Christ is. He is in fact the Anointed One, the Messiah, the Christ, the Sent One by God. He is in fact the Son of God, the Son of Man, the God-Man who is fully God and fully Man. He is Man, yet without sin. He can walk on water. He can calm the storms.

He can also heal the sick, cause the cripple to walk and leap about, open the eyes of those born blind, open the ears of the deaf, and the mouth of the mute. He still went to the cross bearing the sins of the world, dying; and He was buried taking away all our sin, shame, guilt and condemnation; and He arose and came out of that grave, and forever lives seated by the Father’s right hand.

Repent of your sins, believe Him and be saved.

An Already Condemned World, Loved By God

For God sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. He that believeth on Him is not condemned: but He that believeth not is condemned already, because He hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.                   John 3:17-21

There are many who believe that God in the Old Testament, and God in the New Testament are two separate persons. That, however, comes from an ignorance of the Old Testament.

God in the Old Testament is a God of love too. When Adam and Eve sinned in the garden, it was God’s love that provided covering for their sin and nakedness. It was His love that saved Noah and his family to redeem Adam’s race.

Because of Adam’s sin in the garden we were all born into sin. Born with a sin nature, separated from God, condemned for eternity. This message is prevalent through out Scripture. It is also clearly seen that God loves the race of Adam – that is people from every tribe, tongue and nation.

In His love God sent His only begotten Son to be our Redeemer, so that through Him we might have everlasting life.

There are many who love their sin and darkness more that they do the light, glory and forgiveness of God. They love darkness rather than light. They love their own way rather than God’s way; therefore, they continue in their condemnation.

The answer for Adam’s race is hear the words of Jesus Christ, call on His name, repenting of your sin, believing Him and He will hear you and give you life eternal.

See Romans 8:1.