He Was, He Is, and Forever Shall Be

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by Him; and without Him was not any thing made that was made.  In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.  And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.  John 1:1-5

It is the week of Christmas. The day set aside for the remembrance of the birth of our Lord and Savior. How many of us really realize and know who He is. He is often spoken of in the past tense in ways like, “He was a good man” or “He was a good teacher”, and even some who profess Jesus and faith in Him say, “He was the Christ of God.” He was all those things, and He is all those things, and He forever shall be those things.

That Incarnation of God; God becoming Man; throws some people into a hissy theological fit, because they cannot grasp God becoming Man. That is exactly who Jesus is. When Jesus came as the God-Man it was as a Babe in the stable, laid in a manger for a crib. He cried like all babies, yet this baby grew and never sinned. At the age of 12 He was found in the temple teaching the Bible scholars, and growing in the wisdom and knowledge of God.

It is that same Boy who grew to be a Man, called disciples to follow Him and He taught them, and many others for three years. He performed many miracles, including raising dead people to life, touching and healing lepers and giving sight to a man born blind.

He came from His position in Glory with the Father to go to the cross to die, and in His death take all the sins of the world upon Himself, taking the wrath of God Himself for our sins. He died, was buried, and He rose from the grave and to never die again. He was our Lord and Savior, and He is our Lord and Savior, and He will forever be our God, Lord and Savior.

Do you know this One who was, who is, and forever shall be? You can make this Christmas a very Merry Christmas by calling on the name of Jesus Christ the Son of God who is God the Son.

Which Ones?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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 Promise from a Dying Man to a Dying Man

And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on Him, saying, “If Thou be Christ, save Thyself and us.” But the other answering rebuked him, saying, “Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this Man hath done nothing amiss.” And he said unto Jesus, “Lord, remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom.” And Jesus said unto him,
“Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with Me in paradise.”           Luke 23:39-43

We think that dying men cannot keep promises made while they are dying. However, there is a man who did make a promise to another dying man as they were both dying.

Of course, if you are one of those people who do not believe in life after death, then this will not be real in your realm of thought. It is however true whether you believe it or not.

Jesus Christ, as He was bleeding and dying next to the man on His right and the one on His left is the One who made the promise; and it is certain that He fulfilled that promise to the other dying man who made the request “Remember me.”

The two guilty men had been mocking Jesus along with the unbelieving crowd. Something happened in the heart and mind of the one, and he believes Jesus is the only real answer for what lies ahead. He calls out to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

On the cross Jesus gave him the promise of being with Him in “Paradise” that very day. Why did He give him his request? He believed the Lord was who He said He is.

There is a blessed eternal life of joy, peace and rest with Jesus through faith in His death on the cross, the burial, and bodily resurrection.

Believe Him and call on His name today, and you will have the assurance that He will keep His promise.

The Lord of the Harvest

But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith He unto His disciples,
“The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest.”   Matthew 9:36-38

“Everyone that is of the truth hears My voice”

Then Pilate entered into the judgment hall again, and called Jesus, and said unto Him, “Art thou the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered him,
“Sayest thou this thing of thyself, or did others tell it thee of Me?”
Pilate answered, “Am I a Jew? Thine own nation and the chief priests have delivered Thee unto me: what hast Thou done?” Jesus answered,
“My kingdom is not of this world: if My kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is My kingdom not from hence.”
Pilate therefore said unto Him, “Art thou a king then?” Jesus answered,
“Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth My voice.”
Pilate saith unto Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and saith unto them, “I find in Him no fault at all.” John 18:33-38

The Man Believed the Word that Jesus Spoke

So Jesus came again into Cana of Galilee, where He made the water wine. And there was a certain nobleman, whose son was sick at Capernaum.
When he heard that Jesus was come out of Judaea into Galilee, he went unto Him, and besought Him that He would come down, and heal his son: for he was at the point of death. Then said Jesus unto him,
“Except ye see signs and wonders, ye will not believe.”
The nobleman saith unto Him, “Sir, come down ere my child die.” Jesus saith unto him,
“Go thy way; thy son liveth.”
And the man believed the word that Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. And as he was now going down, his servants met him, and told him, saying, “Thy son liveth.” Then enquired he of them the hour when he began to amend. And they said unto him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” So the father knew that it was at the same hour, in the which Jesus said unto him,
“Thy son liveth:”
and himself believed, and his whole house.
This is again the second miracle that Jesus did, when He was come out of Judaea into Galilee.  John 4:46-54

The Error of Not Knowing the Scriptures, Nor the Power of God

The same day came to Him the Sadducees, which say that there is no resurrection, and asked Him, saying, “Master, Moses said, ‘If a man die, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife, and raise up seed unto his brother.’ Now there were with us seven brethren: and the first, when he had married a wife, deceased, and, having no issue, left his wife unto his brother: likewise the second also, and the third, unto the seventh. And last of all the woman died also. Therefore in the resurrection whose wife shall she be of the seven? For they all had her.”
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 22:23-33

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.

Giving From Poverty

“And He looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And He saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said,
‘Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: for all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had.’” Luke 21:1-4 (KJB)

It seems that the wealthy; many of them; like to make much to do about their giving. Though any giving to aid those who are less fortunate, or are experiencing difficult financial times is generous. Being noticed for it, or seeking applause from the populace is not applauded by God.

Jesus, in the verses of Luke above, was sitting near by where the giving box was located, and He must have heard the jingling of the coins as they went into the metal receiving. Those who were more able to give wanted it to sound as though they were giving much, and Jesus noticed a poor widow who put in all that she had.

When it comes to giving who gives more the man with a million dollars who only gives a tenth of his wealth? or the one who lives from week to week on wages, whose take home pay maybe 400 dollars, and he/she tithes from that? I will let you answer that.

A few years ago there was two very well known billionaires who made the announcement, and quite publicly that they were going to give half of their wealth to aid the poor.  Now there is no doubt in my mind that that was a very noble act. Let us think about that for a moment.  At that time the younger one of the two had a net worth of over 50 billion dollars. Now let us think of that. If he was giving half of that to aid the poverty stricken, he still has a net worth of 25 billion. There is absolutely no sacrifice in the giving.

These people that were putting their money in the box were giving from their wealth; that is what Jesus said. The widow was giving all she had, and Jesus applauded this woman for doing so.

At this time of year many people get generous with giving. Giving gifts to family, friends, work associates, etc.  Organizations give food, clothing, and gifts because of the time of year it is.  That is wonderful. Why do we not make it a year round policy to give sacrificially to others in need? One month in a year. That is good.  Great giving would be doing it from January 1 through December 31.

Think of this. Genuine generous giving is when you give until it hurts; and you need to cut back on something for yourself  to give.

Jesus Christ gave us all He had. He gave His life, dying on the cross for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again. In Him and through His is life everlasting.

Words for Christian Living 060213

“Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, not to doubtful disputations. For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs. Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? To his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand. One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks. For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.”  Romans 14:1-7 (KJV)

On the matter of “Doubtful disputations” or “Disputes over doubtful things”  the MacArthur Study Bible note says, “Better translated, ‘for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions (or scruples).’  The mature believer should not sit in judgment on the sincere but underdeveloped thoughts that govern the weak believer’s conduct.”

-Tim A. Blankenship