How Is Your Heart?

“And when He had called all the people, He said unto them,
‘Hearken unto Me every one, and understand: There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man.
If any man have ears to hear, let him hear.’

And when He was entered into the house from the people, His disciples asked Him concerning the parable. And He saith unto them,
‘Are ye so without understanding also? Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?’
And He said,
‘That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: all these evil things come from within, and defile the man.’ ”   Mark 7:14-23

Pressure

“Then saith He unto them, ‘My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with Me.’ ”  Matthew 26:38

We humans experience pressure. It is called stress. Those of us who know Jesus as our Lord and Savior believe Jesus to be fully God and fully Man. We recognize Him as flesh and blood human, of the race of Adam just as we are.

I have for many years struggled over this scene of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane and have heard and been taught for years that Jesus was asking to be delivered from the cross. In recent years I have settled this in my own heart and mind, and I believe it is Scriptural.

I see many times that the gospels mention Jesus having His eyes set on Jerusalem near the final days of His life. That meaning He had His eyes set on paying our sin debt. That is one reason I cannot fathom the idea of His praying to be delivered from dying on the cross.

The verse above settles it for me. “My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death…” and that looks to be what He is going to pray about when He says, “Let this cup pass from Me”.  He was pressured by what would be too early a death right there in Gethsemane.

I believe the Father answered His prayer and gave Him the physical strength to make it to the cross where He fulfilled the Father’s will dying for my sins, your sins, and the sins of the whole world.

On This Great Day…

…I want all who will hear to know that Jesus Christ died for your sins, mine and yours, and that He was buried carrying away all our sin, shame and condemnation, and He rose from the grave on the third day. He forever lives.

Because He came out alive we can live with Him in eternity together with Him in His glory.

If you will confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus, and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead you shall be saved (Romans 10:9-10).

When you do that; and if you have already done that, then you know the greatness of this great Resurrection Sunday. Jesus is Alive.

Experiencing Forgiveness

“For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: but if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”   Matthew 6:14-15

Forgiveness is a difficult matter and event in life. I know that I have been forgiven many times by my parents, my wife, my children, grandchildren, and other people as well. I know that most of all I have been forgiven by the One who has created all things.

If anyone thinks that forgiveness is an easy matter, then they probably have not forgiven anyone.

The truth of the matter of forgiveness is this: Jesus Christ died for our sins, forgiving those who nailed Him to the cross, and paying the price for our sins giving redemption, forgiveness, and healing to all who trust in Him.

The person who would say, “I will never forgive you” or “I cannot forgive that” has never experienced the forgiveness of God. If we experience the forgiveness of God what is there in the world that could cause us to be unforgiving.

Come to Jesus trusting in His finished work on the cross and experience forgiveness; the forgiveness of Holy God.

Who is born of God?

Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth Him that begat loveth Him also that is begotten of Him. 1 John 5:1
Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?  Verse 5
He that hath the Son hath life; he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.
These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.  Verses 12 – 13
And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.  Verse 20

As I was reading the first epistle of the apostle John I noticed once again the important emphasis he puts on Jesus Christ as the Son of God. The title of this post is “Who is born of God?” That is a question we all must answer, and know ourselves. Are you, have you been born of God?

In chapter 5 verse 1 John writes “Whosoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God” and he goes on stating that to love the Father (the One who begat), is to love the Son (the One who is begotten). If we love the Father we will love the Son; and on the other side too; if we love the Son we love the Father. These are the one’s who are born of God.

We learn in the five verses above too, that Jesus Christ the Son of God is the One who overcomes the world, and through Him we do too. In Him we have life, and without Him is no life. Without life in Him there is only death. Through Jesus Christ and Him alone can we have the true assurance of eternal life, and we can know quite well that we will live with Him eternally.

In knowing Jesus we receive understanding from Him knowledge of who He truly is. In Christ Jesus we are in the True God, and have eternal life. The moment, by grace through faith, you turn from your sin to Christ calling on His name for salvation you receive eternal life.

Who is born of God? If you have not been born of God will you call on Him today?

The Father’s Will

“And this is the Father’s will which hath sent Me, that of all which He hath given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of Him that sent Me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”  John 6:39-40

Many have asked, “What is God’s will?” or “What is God’s will for my life?” Jesus gives us the answer for that in the words He speaks above.

One, it was the Father’s will to send His Son Jesus and to give Him those who would follow Him… I pray that includes you.

Two, it is the Father’s will that of all that the Father has given Him, including His own life, nothing would be lost.

Three, that those who see the Son of God believing on Him would have everlasting life.

Four, that all those who believe on Him would be resurrected and live with Him through eternity.

These four things are seen in the two verses above. It is the Father’s will that you would call on the name of the One who died for your sins, our sins; was buried, and He rose again the third day. Because He lives we live.

The Son of Man

“Then He took the twelve, and said unto them,
‘Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man shall be accomplished. For He shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: and they shall scourge, and put Him to death: and the third day He shall rise again.’
And they understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.”  Luke 18:31-34

The mission, the purpose of Jesus’s birth, life and ministry was about to come to fruition. He had told the disciples many times that He was going to die, and the third day He would rise again. They did not comprehend.

There are several things about Jesus that have surprised people, even to the point of denial, doubt and confusion and unbelief. There are some who believe in the good words and works of Jesus and they believe He was a good man, a good teacher, and a prophet; but deny who He really is. There are some who believe Him to be a spirit being who never really died, and thus never dying, He never rose again. These believe this because they cannot accept the truth of His becoming flesh at birth (the only begotten Son of God), that if He were really Deity, Deity could not bleed.

His physical birth, and His death signify clearly that Jesus was indeed flesh, bone, and blood – The Son of Man. His burial shows us clearly that a body, not a spirit being, was laid in the tomb. His resurrection, on the third day is evidence, proof and fruit of the truth of who He is – The Son of God. Thus, He is the Son of Man, the Son of God. The God-Man.

He died a physical death for our sins. His physical body was laid in the tomb dead. He was raised in a physical flesh and bone body for our justification. This same Jesus will come again in that same body.

Have you trusted Him as your personal Lord and Savior? Today is the day to do so.

Those Who Hear the Word of God

“And it came to pass, as He spake these things, a certain woman of the company lifted up her voice, and said unto Him, ‘Blessed is the womb that bare Thee, and the paps which Thou hast sucked.’ But He said,
‘Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.’ ”  Luke 11:27-28

More than once in all of Scripture are the words of the Lord giving great blessing on those who read and hear the word of the Lord. One of those places is in the above verses; another is Revelation 1:3. The Psalms are full of the blessing on those who love the word of God – especially Psalm 119.

No person is more blessed than the one’s who will hear the word of the Lord and keep it. It must begin in what the word says about God’s only begotten Son Jesus, the sin of Adam kind, and the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, His burial and resurrection.

You have not began to hear the word of the Lord if you reject that Jesus is indeed the Son of God, God the Son.

Will you hear Him today?

My Eyes Have Seen Your Salvation

“Then took he Him up in his arms, and blessed God, and said,
‘Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word: for mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel.’
And Joseph and His mother marvelled at those things which were spoken of him. And Simeon blessed them, and said unto Mary His mother,
‘Behold, this Child is set for the fall and rising again of many in Israel; and for a sign which shall be spoken against; (yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.’ ”  Luke 2:28-35

The man speaking is Simeon. A man who had waited for the Redeemer of Israel for many years. I have never heard much on the words which he speaks but they are definitely from the Lord, and dealing with the life of the new born Son of God.

My thoughts on this man are these. If Simeon was believing the word of the Lord, that he would not die until he had seen the coming of Messiah, then how can we lose heart concerning the second coming of our Lord, the Messiah, who is Jesus Christ?

Jesus came the first time as a baby, born of a virgin, and His bed was on straw in a feed trough for cattle. He grew into manhood, lived a holy, undefiled life, then laid His own life down on that wooden cross, was nailed to it through His hands and feet, they dropped that cross into a hole with a resounding thud, and He died there. He was taken down from that cross, and was buried showing clearly that He was dead taking away our sin; then He arose bodily from that grave. He forever lives and is calling all who will hear to come to Him.

Believe Him and live with Him forever, free from sin, shame, guilt and condemnation.

The Door Is Open…

“And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.”  Mark 15:37-38

Jesus’s last words were spoken, “It is finished” and then something awesome and heavenly happened. The veil of the temple which was supposed to conceal the ark of the covenant, was torn in two.

It was torn from the top signifying that it was definitely the hand of God that tore it. What did this mean?

The old was being torn away, and the new was beginning. God was saying to one and to all who would hear Him, and receive the gift of He and His Son Jesus could come to Him. He is basically saying, “The door is open. Come on in.”

The door is opened by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Will you hear His voice and enter into His peace and rest? It is your call.

Have You Not Read The Scripture?

After the parable of Mark 12:1-9 Jesus said,
“And have ye not read this Scripture; ‘The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner: this was the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes?’ “  Mark 12:10-11

.Jesus always has a good, even a great question or questions for His accusers. Jesus knows the Scriptures. He is the One who inspired, and gave the Scriptures. Since He gave them to us it is fitting and very proper and a means of the Christian’s growth in the faith of Christ to read them, hear them and do them for His glory.

The parable in verses 1 through 9 is a parable of those who rejected a land owners son, killing him, so that they might be the ones who would inherit the land, since the land owner only had one son.

The scribes and Pharisees, the hypocrites did have the sense to realize the parable was about them, and their rejection of God’s Son who was speaking to them – though they were too blind to see Him as the Son of God.

Do you read the Scriptures? If you are a Christian they are for you and your growing; being conformed into the image of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29). When you know and love Jesus you will read, know, and love His word. You will also see that His word reads you.

Jesus is the “Cornerstone” which the builders rejected. He is rejected by them so that others might be saved and come to the truth of who Jesus is. He is the Son of Man, the Son of God and God the Son who willingly laid His own life down on the cross and was crucified, dying for our sins, was buried, and three days later He rose again and is calling you to Himself. Call out to Him turning from your sins to the Lord Jesus Christ, and He will hear, and He will save you giving you eternal life.

Death and Resurrection

“And He began to teach them, that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.”  Mark 8:31
“And as they came down from the mountain, He charged them that they should tell no man what things they had seen, till the Son of Man were risen from the dead.”  Mark 9:9
“For He taught His disciples, and said unto them, ‘The Son of Man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill Him; and after that He is killed, He shall rise the third day.’ ”   Mark 9:31

Three times in two chapters Jesus tells them. How could they have missed it? There is one way and maybe two or three, but Jesus taught the disciples clearly that He was going to die at the hands of evil, and that on the third day He would rise again.

The first way they could have missed is because of their preconceived ideas of what the Messiah was supposed to do. The second way it was missed; not by the disciples but by the religious leaders was their unbelief. The third way it was missed by many, and this would include Judas Iscariot, just plain ole selfishness and greed.

Do not miss the fact, the truth of the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. He was and is the Messiah of Israel and of the whole earth. If you miss this truth, you will miss out on eternity with Him.

We Don’t Know When, So Be Ready

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

None of us know the time of our death. Neither does anyone know the time of the Lord’s second coming.

Just as one must be prepared for dying we need to be prepared for the coming of the Lord. One is closely associated with the other.

Please understand. It has been said that there are only two things which are certain in the life; and that is death and taxes. We all will die in this physical body. The heart will beat its final beat; and we will breathe our final breath. Are you ready?

The greatest preparation we can make for death is to call on the name of Jesus when we realize that we are lost, condemned, dying law breakers, headed to eternal judgment. Calling on Jesus who bled and died on the cross as the ultimate payment for our sin, and was buried carrying away all our sin, our shame, our guilt and condemnation, and then He rose from the grave justifying forever those who will come to Him.  See Matthew 26 through 28.

When you call on His name you are then prepared for death and for the coming of the Lord.

Remember This

“Heaven and earth shall pass away, but My words shall not pass away.”  Matthew 24:35

There is peace of heart and mind in knowing and always remembering that every word of God which He has spoken; whether it be through the prophets, the Law, the Wisdom literature of the Old Testament; all will be fulfilled.

Also, every word spoken by the Son of God, His 13 apostles, and the other New Testament Scriptures will also be fulfilled. Not a single word which He has spoken shall fail.

There is only peace with God and rest in Him through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Call on His name in repentant faith, and receive Him.

That Which Defiles

“And He called the multitude, and said unto them,
‘Hear, and understand: Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man.’ ” Matthew 15:10-11

When Jesus said this He was addressing the hypocrisy of the religious leaders who had no heart to do His will, but their own. They knew the law but used it for their own ends and means.

Jesus was really revealing their hearts. Their hearts were vile, and evil, and with their mouths they defiled themselves. Further on in chapter 10 and in verses 16 – 20 Jesus explains His words above. All that is evil comes from the heart and is greatly expressed and exposed by the mouth.

Let us be swift to hear the word of the Lord, and in hearing it apply it to our lives beginning with the gospel of Jesus Christ and His death, burial, and resurrection; and receiving the change of heart that comes only through the new birth.

With the new birth of the Spirit we receive a new view of life and living, and an ever increasing faith in Him. With the new birth we also receive a new mouth or new vocabulary; if you will.

Endangered Living to Save Others

“Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: lest the LORD see it, and it displease Him, and He turn away His wrath from him.”   Proverbs 24:17-18

“Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep and to break mine heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but also to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”  Acts 21:13

As Christians we can not rejoice at the fall of someone who hates us. We are to love our enemies, and pray for them who despitefully use us.

Let us be like the apostle Paul who obeying the words of the Lord Jesus risked his life in Jerusalem, knowing his life was in danger, “Loved not his life, unto death” and went to the city with the gospel of Jesus Christ anyway.

Do you love the Lord Jesus today. The Father loved you so much that he gave us His only begotten Son – Jesus Christ. That whosoever believes in Him would not perish, but have eternal life. He died for you, was buried, and He rose again.

Knowing Who Jesus Christ Is

“My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee.” Proverbs 7:1
“And He said unto them, ‘Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am, ye shall die in your sins.’ ” John 8:23-24

Knowing who Jesus the Christ is, and believing Him, determines our eternal destiny.

For Help and Strength

“Commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established.”  Proverbs 16:3
“And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, ‘What manner of Man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?’ ”  Mark 4:41

Help us, O Lord, for we are weak and poor and needy. Give those who have received Your Son Jesus and come to You through His death, burial, and resurrection strength for the days, and glorify Your holy name. Amen.

To The Almighty GOD…

“The wicked is driven away in his wickedness: but the righteous hath hope in his death.”  Proverbs 14:32
“And when they saw Him, they worshipped Him: but some doubted.”  Matthew 28:17

Father, I praise You. I worship You because of Your love, mercy and grace You have shown through Your Son Jesus the Christ who died on the cross for the sins of the world, was buried carrying away all our sin, its darkness, pain, shame and despair, and all our condemnation; then He rose bodily from that grave justifying forever all who come to Him. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Lord, give me wisdom concerning the peril of the wicked. I pray that I might see the wicked will be judged by their own wickedness, and by Your Just ways and word. For those who have been clothed in the Righteousness of Jesus Christ we have hope in death of Your presence and glory with You. Forgive our sins, O God, and renew a right spirit in us. There is much darkness in this world right now; I pray that we shall be a bright light reflecting the holy Light of Christ our Lord. For in Him is no darkness at all.

I pray, O Lord, for renewed strength today of faith. Continued growing faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus. Doubters will turn away, unless they will come to believe.

Turn our hearts, O Lord, away from being filled with the world, the flesh and the devil and fill us with Your Spirit that we may walk with You and glorify Your holy name.

I also ask, Lord, that You would plow the soils of the hearts of men, women, boys and girls who do not know You; that I will be faithful to sow the seed of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and that You will give the harvest. Bless the name of the Lord. Amen.

Prayer for January 9, 2021

Forsake the foolish, and live; and go in the way of understanding.” Proverbs 9:6
“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

I thank You, Lord, that I did not gain a relationship with You through any good deed, any act of kindness, or even my own obedience to a need I witnessed. I gained the New birth relationship through the blood of Jesus’s death on the cross. For that I am grateful.

Lord I ask that I might forsake the foolish things and go in the way of understanding; through the wisdom that comes only from You. I also ask that I will always be forgiving to those who may seem unforgivable. You have forgiven me. How can I negate my forgiving any wrong someone has done to me?

Thank You, Lord, for the blood of Jesus Christ that cleanses us from all our sin; the burial which carried them all away; and because He is risen from the grave death, hell and the grave is proven defeated, and we have eternal life through Him who forever lives. Amen.

Forbear To Deliver

“If thou forbear to deliver them that are drawn unto death, and those that are ready to be slain; if thou sayest, ‘Behold, we knew it not;’ doth not He that pondereth the heart consider? And He that keepeth thy soul, doth not He know, and shall not He render to every man according to his works?”  Proverbs 24:11-12

“Rescue those who are being taken away to death; hold back those who are stumbling to the slaughter.
If you say, “Behold, we did not know this,” does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who keeps watch over your soul know it, and will he not repay man according to his work? (ESV)

No Matter What May Come; God Is Good

“Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart. But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped. For I was envious at the foolish, when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.
For there are no bands in their death: but their strength is firm. they are not in trouble as other men; neither are they plagued like other men.
Therefore pride compasseth them about as a chain; violence covereth them as a garment. Their eyes stand out with fatness: they have more than heart could wish. They are corrupt, and speak wickedly concerning oppression: they speak loftily. They set their mouth against the heavens, and their tongue walketh through the earth.
Therefore his people return hither: and waters of a full cup are wrung out to them. And they say, ‘How doth God know? and is there knowledge in the most High?’
Behold, these are the ungodly, who prosper in the world; they increase in riches.”  Psalm 73:1-12  (KJB)

The Arrogant Ruler Judged

“And Herod was highly displeased with them of Tyre and Sidon: but they came with one accord to him, and, having made Blastus the king’s chamberlain their friend, desired peace; because their country was nourished by the king’s country. And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man.  And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.
But the word of God grew and multiplied.” Acts 12:20-24 (KJB)

Power

We, of Adam’s race are impressed by power and authority. We even crave it for ourselves. We often do not understand that genuine power requires great responsibility, and we see too many times in governments, and presidents, kings, and such that become despots and dictators.

When Jesus stood before Pilate, the governor, asked Jesus,

“Then saith Pilate unto Him, ‘Speakest Thou not unto me? Knowest Thou not that I have power to crucify Thee, and have power to release Thee?’ ” John 19:10 (KJB)

He supposed that he was powerful enough to prevent Jesus from the crucifixion.  Just where do the ruling authorities get the power, the authority which they have? According to the words of one of the wisest kings,

“The king’s heart is in the hand of the LORD, as the rivers of water: He turneth it whithersoever He will.” Proverbs 21:1

So Pilate needed to realize that he needed to not be prideful, and arrogant about his position of authority, but to submit to the will of the Almighty God.

Jesus Christ as the God-Man had submitted Himself to the Father’s will, His word, and His way all the way to dying on the cross for the sins of the world.

Jesus said,

“Thou couldest have no power against Me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.” John 19:11

Jesus knew what was taking place was the plan for the redemption of the race of Adam, and was submitted to it. He was the One who could have called twelve legions of angels and stopped it (Matthew 26:53), and a legion of Roman soldiers was about 6 thousand men. He could have stopped it. He did not because of His great love for you and me.

Now, that is Power and authority with responsibility.