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.

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.

The Power of Jesus and the People

“And He withdrew Himself into the wilderness, and prayed. And it came to pass on a certain day, as He was teaching, that there were Pharisees and doctors of the law sitting by, which were come out of every town of Galilee, and Judaea, and Jerusalem: and the power of the Lord was present to heal them.”  Luke 5:16-17

I heard a quote which was attributed to Charles H. Spurgeon where he had been asked the question: “Which is more important, the reading and study of Scripture or prayer?” and his answer was another question; “Which is more important, breathing out or breathing in?”

One is important for the other. Jesus loved the word of God, and He loved fulfilling the word of God. So should all who love Him.

We should also love to spend time with Him in prayer. If the Son of God, the Son of Man, the God-Man, who is God the Son saw the necessity and need of prayer then every one of us who are redeemed through His shed blood need to pray.

I wonder sometimes why I do not seem to have power with God, and I know the answer is that I am not as committed to the Lord in prayer as I am in breathing in – the reading and study of Scripture.

Lord, by Your grace and power help me to be a man of prayer as well as a man of Your word. May many come to You for the healing of their lives and souls through Your death, burial, and resurrection.

The Presence

“And Jesus, when He was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon Him: and lo a voice from heaven, saying, ‘This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.’ ”  Matthew 3:16-17

Jesus, the Christ of God; and there is no other, and never will be. There is only One Messiah, and His name is Jesus.

This is shown with great display as Jesus comes and presents Himself for baptism to fulfill Righteousness. Notice that His baptism was by immersion He “Went up straightway out of the water”. When He rose up there was the presence of the Holy Spirit of God in the form of a dove coming to Him “Lighting on Him” and there was the voice of the Father from heaven. The holy, holy, holy Three in One.

Notice also the Father makes it known to all who will hear, “This is My beloved Son” and He has no other only begotten Son but Jesus. If Jesus the Messiah is the Son of God, He is the Incarnation of of God – God in flesh. The God – Man.

Jesus came to die for the sins of the world; mine and yours. He died on the cross taking all sin upon Himself; even becoming sin for us (2 Corinthians 5:21) dying in our place; He was buried, and He rose from the grave justifying forever those who will call on His name.

Will you call on the name of Jesus Christ today and be saved?

The Temptation

“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.’
Then the devil taketh Him up into the holy city, and setteth Him on a pinnacle of the temple, and saith unto Him, ‘If Thou be the Son of God, cast Thyself down: for it is written, He shall give His angels charge concerning Thee: and in their hands they shall bear Thee up, lest at any time Thou dash Thy foot against a stone.’
Jesus said unto him,
‘It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.’
Again, the devil taketh Him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth Him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; and saith unto Him, ‘All these things will I give Thee, if Thou wilt fall down and worship me.’
Then saith Jesus unto him,
‘Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.’
Then the devil leaveth Him, and, behold, angels came and ministered unto Him.”  Matthew 4:1-11  (KJB)

If we will look at the above encounter Jesus had with Satan we could learn much in dealing with temptation.

First of all we need to understand Jesus had gone into the wilderness and was many days without food and water, so in His flesh He was weak. He needed to survive. He longed to survive. When that old devil presented Him with the idea o turning stones to bread it would have been quite the temptation for Jesus to do so; but He did not

Jesus realized and knew that for Him to do so would be making Himself a pawn of the devil, and would be yielding Himself to the will of the serpent. “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God” was His answer. The word of God must be our main source of sustenance and survival.

Secondly, the devil tempted Jesus with security by tempting Him to throw Himself off the highest point of the temple to prove He was the Son of God. In doing so, again, He would have been submitting to the devil’s snares.

Security is very important to people of all times and stations of life. Jesus told the devil, “You shall not tempt the Lord your God” and to do so would be to lose the greatest security ever given to the redeemed.

The last temptation  was one of success and worship. If Jesus would bow down to the devil, then He could have all the kingdoms of the world. Jesus knew that He was going to redeem them unto Himself anyway on the cross some three years later, and He said to the devil these words, “Get thee hence, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve.” Jesus knew that the only worship He could give is to His father or He could not and would not finish the task the Father gave Him to do.

If Jesus would have yielded to temptation then the world would be lost. When you and I yield to temptation we lose our fellowship with God when we are His children, we lose power with Him, and we lose peace, and feel greatly vexed by our lives.

Let us follow the witness of Jesus’s temptation, and greatly depend on the Holy Spirit and the word of God.

If you do not know Jesus as Your Lord and Savior, then  when you realize you are lost in sin, apart from God, then hear that Jesus Christ died on the cross for you, was buried and He rose again – then call on His name and He will deliver you from sins condemnation. Call on His name today.

 

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.

Eternal Life

“I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son. Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.

Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.  And this is the promise that He hath promised us, even eternal life.” 1 John 2:21-25 (KJB)

Eternal life is only  through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Any who deny the incarnation of  Deity of Christ is a liar, and antichrist.

Shall I Crucify Your King?

“And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, ‘Behold your King!’  But they cried out, ‘Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him.’ Pilate saith unto them, ‘Shall I crucify your King?’ The chief priests answered, ‘We have no king but Caesar.'” John 19:14-15  (KJB)

In this scene Jesus is being tried for accused sins and transgressions; not actual charges, but false charges brought about by those who hated God, His word, and His Son.

Jesus is the King of the Jews.  It was those who should have known the Scripture best which denied Him, were jealous of His successes, His power, and His followers.  One of the chief priest even said that “One must die for our nation” (John 11:49-51).

Here stood the Man, the God-Man whose character, power, miracles, grace, mercy, holiness, and justness was clearly displayed by His life.  He lived solely to do the business of His Father (Luke 2:49), from the early age of 12 years.  He healed the sick, caused the lame to walk, cleansed lepers, raised the dead.  Hey, He defied the elements by walking on water, speaking to storms and they ceased.  He cast out demons.

How could these religious “Leaders” be so blind?  Pilate asked them, “Shall I crucify your King?”.  Their sad, and hateful words say it all about their dark hearts… “We have no king but Caesar?”

When citizens of a nation which is enslaved by another nation chooses the king of the occupying nation over their own king; especially like these do they are denying God.  These Jewish leaders should have been looking for the coming of their Messiah; maybe they were, but were not expecting this Jesus; this suffering Servant of God; willing to die for the sins of the world.

For the Christian of 2019 are you aware of; are you alert to the words of your King?  Jesus is your King.  He has called us unto Himself, turning from sin to His righteousness, to live in holiness.  Are we saying the same thing those religious leaders of His day said when we choose to go our own way, do our own thing?  Are we not saying, “I have no king but Caesar/myself?”

The Teaching of Jesus

“And He taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy Him, and could not find what they might do: for all the people were very attentive to hear Him.” Luke 19:47-48 (KJB)

During the final week of the life of Jesus as the God-Man walking among men He spent His days teaching in the temple, going out at night to the Mount of Olives to rest and pray (Luke 21:37).

In reading Luke 19 – 21 today I noticed many things about His teaching.  He taught some new parables of the kingdom, some warning the religious rulers of their impending loss of the kingdom.

He also took note of the generous heart of a widow who gave more than all, because she gave all she had.  People listened.  They were attentive; you might even say they hung onto every word He said.

No man taught like this Man; neither do any of 2019 in any part of the world; though some probably think they do.

I tend to believe that those who were seeking to destroy Him were jealous of His power of conviction, passion for God and His word, and love for the people.

Do you love the teachings of Jesus?  There might be some who will say, “But how can I hear the teachings of Jesus?”  There is only one answer to that question.  Pick up the Scriptures called the Holy Bible, and start reading, then you will hear the teachings  of Jesus.  If you are new to reading the Bible, then begin with the Gospels – Matthew through John.  You will be drawn to Him if you have a sincere heart to know Him.

Jesus came to die for you and me.  He died on the cross, was buried, and He rose again.  Hear Him, believe Him, trust Him.

Loins Girded, Lights Burning

“Let your loins be girded about, and lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.”  Luke 12:35-36

In the era when our Lord walked the earth as  God in the flesh the people wore robes, and garments which covered their legs.  If they needed to run that would encumber them to a certain extent, or great extent.  What they needed to do to run in haste was to raise the garment up and gird it about their waist to free their legs for a much more free movement.  It was pulled up around their loins.

lights in that day needed tended each day, and to make sure oil was in the lamps so things could be seen by night.

The application for the follower of Jesus Christ today is that as we go we need to be always ready to give an answer for the hope which is in us.  Ready to run.  Ready and always letting the light of Jesus in  us be shining.

It is Best to Listen to Wisdom

“Because I have called, and ye refused; I have stretched out my hand, and no man regarded; but ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear cometh; when your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.” Proverbs 1:24-27 (KJV)

For the month of March I will be endeavoring to do a short study from the Wisdom book of Proverbs.

In the above verses the message begins from Wisdom in verse 20.  So Wisdom is personified by Solomon here and in chapters 8 and 9.  We will get to those later.  For the study today we focus on 1:24-27.

Wisdom will not be ignored.  When we speak of Wisdom we speak of God’s Wisdom.  Compare godly wisdom to the wisdom of men…

“Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? Let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” James 3:13-18

Since this wisdom is godly wisdom it comes from none other source than the  heart of God Himself.  It comes from His Word, His promises, His power, His Spirit, and His works – His works that He does even, maybe especially, in His people; as His people yield to His wisdom.

When the child of God chooses his/her own way rather than God’s way and wisdom we end up showing our bitterness, envy, anger, strife, and we start disbelieving the word of God; until God gets ahold of us, and sets us right.  It is not a pleasant thing for the child of God for Him to get ahold of us (Hebrews 12:6-8).

When we are not right with God; walking with Him in His Spirit, then, there will be great fear with no peace to face it.

Those who reject God, His wisdom, and His grace will one day find themselves being laughed at and mocked because your own wisdom fails you; and your calamity will be an eternal one.

O turn to the One who is All Wise, believe His promises, and trust His grace and mercy that He has given mankind by that God-Man Jesus the Christ who died on the cross for our sins, was buried and He rose again;  believing He is the Son of God; God the Son.  That is where Wisdom begins.