“A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold.” Proverbs 22:1 (KJB)
“My son, keep my words, and lay up my commandments with thee. Keep my commandments, and live; and my law as the apple of thine eye. Bind them upon thy fingers, write them upon the table of thine heart.
Say unto wisdom, ‘Thou art my sister;’ and call understanding thy kinswoman: that they may keep thee from the strange woman, from the stranger which flattereth with her words.
For at the window of my house I looked through my casement, and beheld among the simple ones, I discerned among the youths, a young man void of understanding, passing through the street near her corner; and he went the way to her house, in the twilight, in the evening, in the black and dark night: and, behold, there met him a woman with the attire of an harlot, and subtil of heart. (She is loud and stubborn; her feet abide not in her house: now is she without, now in the streets, and lieth in wait at every corner.)
So she caught him, and kissed him, and with an impudent face said unto him, ‘I have peace offerings with me; this day have I payed my vows. Therefore came I forth to meet thee, diligently to seek thy face, and I have found thee. I have decked my bed with coverings of tapestry, with carved works, with fine linen of Egypt. I have perfumed my bed with myrrh, aloes, and cinnamon. Come, let us take our fill of love until the morning: let us solace ourselves with loves. For the goodman is not at home, he is gone a long journey: he hath taken a bag of money with him, and will come home at the day appointed.’
With her much fair speech she caused him to yield, with the flattering of her lips she forced him. He goeth after her straightway, as an ox goeth to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks; till a dart strike through his liver; as a bird hasteth to the snare, and knoweth not that it is for his life.
Hearken unto me now therefore, O ye children, and attend to the words of my mouth. Let not thine heart decline to her ways, go not astray in her paths. For she hath cast down many wounded: yea, many strong men have been slain by her. Her house is the way to hell, going down to the chambers of death.” Proverbs 7:1-27 (KJB)
“Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my meditation. Hearken unto the voice of my cry, my King, and my God: for unto You will I pray.” Psalm 5:1-2 (KJB)
“My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: for length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee.” Proverbs 3:1-2 (KJB)
“LORD, how are they increased that trouble me! Many are they that rise up against me. Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah. But You, O LORD, are a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.” Psalm 3:1-3
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.
“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.
“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; that they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.” John 17:20-21 (KJB)
Though I have changed the title this post is a repost from September 14, 2010. Though there may be many who think Jesus prayed only for Himself, His disciples of that day, it is quite clear to us in the words above that He prayed for those who would believe on Him through their word. Though many years have passed their word is still being passed from one person to another.
There will probably be some who read the posts on Jesus’s prayer for His followers/disciples, and think, and believe, that this prayer was only for those 12 or so disciples who walked with Him through the streets of Jerusalem, along the shores of Galilee, and over the roads of Judea. If that would be the case then, the prayer is almost without merit. That would invalidate the promises, and you had just as well take away the cross and resurrection as well.
Now, hear what Jesus prayed next:
“Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on Me through their word; That they all may be one; as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in Us: that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me.” John 17:20-21 (KJV).
There are at least a couple of things which Jesus requests in this portion of the prayer. First He lets it be known that this prayer is not just for Peter, James, and John; but also for Tim, Tom, Jane, and Jill. All those who have believed in Jesus through the words of the disciples. That means all those believers who have believed since the day Jesus prayed this High Priestly prayer.
The second request of this prayer (of these two verses) is that we might be one in Himself and the Father. To begin with; when anyone reads this prayer how can they deny what Jesus asked for. Jesus was admitting to being one with the Father. He has requested that we may all be one in Himself and the Father. Having been separated; in the darkness, on the cross; from the Father because of sin, Jesus’s death, burial and resurrection made this possible for all who will believe and follow Him.
Too many times young people in the faith jump to conclusions about the following words of Jesus, and assume that we can ask for anything we want, and God is obligated to give it. First, let me say this; God is obligated to no one. Now to the verses for today.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto My Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If ye shall ask any thing in My name, I will do.” John 14:12-14 (KJB)
Now I leave with you the last points of an exposition delivered by Alexander MacLaren…
From Alexander MacLaren’s EXPOSITION OF HOLY SCRIPTURE:
“These are two, faith and prayer.
‘He that believeth on Me, the works that I do shall he do also.’ Faith, the simple act of loving trust in Jesus Christ, opens the door of our hearts and natures for the entrance of all His solemn Omnipotence, and makes us possessors of it. It is the condition, and the only condition, and plainly the indispensable condition, of possessing this divine Christ’s power, that we should trust ourselves to Him that gives it. And if we do, then we shall not trust in vain, but to us there will come power that will surpass our desire, and fill us with its own rejoicing and pure energy. Faith will make us like Christ. Faith is intensely practical. ‘He that believeth shall do.’ It is no mere cold assent to a creed which is utterly impotent to operate upon men’s acts, no mere hysterical emotion which is utterly impotent to energise into nobilities of service and miracles of consecration, but it is the affiance of the whole nature which spreads itself before Him and prays, ‘Fill my emptiness and vitalise me with Thine own Spirit.’ That is the faith which is ever answered by the inrush of the divine power, and the measure of our capacity of receiving is the measure of His gift to us.
So if Christian individuals and Christian communities are impotent, or all but impotent, there is no difficulty in understanding why. They have cut the connection, they have shut the tap. They lack faith; and so their power is weakness. ‘Why could we not cast him out?’ said they, perplexed when they had no need to be. ‘Why could you not cast him out? Because you do not believe that I, working in you, can cast him out. That is why; and the only why.’ Let us learn that the secret of Christians’ weakness is the weakness of their Christian faith.
And the other condition is prayer. ‘Whatsoever ye shall ask in My name I will do it,’ and He repeats it, for confirmation and for greater emphasis. ‘If ye shall ask anything in My name,’ or, as perhaps that clause ought to be read with some versions, ‘If ye shall ask Me anything in My name I will do it.’
Three points may be named here. Our power depends upon our prayer. God’s and Christ’s fullness and willingness to communicate do not depend upon our prayer. But our capacity to receive of that fullness, and so the possibility of its communication to us, do depend upon our prayer. ‘We have not because we ask not.’
The power of our prayer depends upon our conscious oneness with the revealed Christ. ‘If ye shall ask in My name,’ says He. And people think they have fulfilled the condition when, in a mechanical and external manner, they say, as a formula at the end of petitions that have been all stuffed full of self-will and selfishness, ‘for Christ’s sake. Amen!’ and then they wonder they do not get them answered! Is that asking in Christ’s name?
Christ’s name is the revelation of Christ’s character, and to do a thing in the name of another person is to do it as His representative, and as realising that in some deep and real sense-for the present purpose at all events-we are one with Him. And it is when we know ourselves to be united to Christ and one with Him, and representative in a true fashion of Himself, as well as when, in humble reliance on His work for us and His loving heart, we draw near, that our prayer has power, as the old divines used to say, ‘to move the Hand that moves the world,’ and to bring down a rush of blessing upon our heads. Prayer in the name of Christ is hard to offer. It needs much discipline and watchfulness; it excludes all self-will and selfishness. And if, as my text tells us, the end of the Son’s working is the glory of the Father, that same end, and not our own ease or comfort, must be the end and object of all prayer which is offered in His name. When we so pray we get an answer. And the reason why such multitudes of prayers never travel higher than the roof, and bring no blessings to him who prays, is because they are not prayers in Christ’s name.
Prayer in His name will pass into prayer to Him. As He not obscurely teaches us here (if we adopt the reading to which I have already referred), He has an ear to hear such requests, and He wields divine power to answer. Surely it was not blasphemy nor any diversion of the worship due to God alone, when the dying martyr outside the city wall cried and said, ‘Lord Jesus! receive my spirit.’ Nor is it any departure from the solemnest obligations laid upon us by the unity of the divine nature, nor are we bringing idolatrous petitions to another than the Father, when we draw near to Christ and ask Him to give us that which He gives as the Father’s gift, and to work on us that which the Father that dwelleth in Him works through Him for us.
Trust yourselves to Christ, and let your desires be stilled, to listen to His voice in you, and let that voice speak. And then, dear brethren, we shall be lifted above ourselves, and strength will flow into us, and we shall be able to say, ‘I can do all things, through the Christ that dwells in me and makes me strong.’ And just as the glad, sunny waters of the incoming tide fill the empty places of some oozy harbour, where all the ships are lying as if dead, and the mud is festering in the sunshine, so into the slimy emptiness of our corrupt hearts there will pour the flashing sunlit wave, the ever fresh rush of His power; and ‘everything will live whithersoever it cometh,’ and we shall be able to say in all humility, and yet in glad recognition of Christ’s faithfulness to this, His transcendent promise, ‘I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me,’ ‘because the life which I live in the flesh I live by faith of the Son of God.’ “
The reactions of people are wide a varied. When Lazarus had died, and was buried four days Jesus came and spoke to the dead man, and Lazarus got up, and came out.
There were many Jews who saw this and believed in Jesus. Some, not only sought to kill Jesus, but also Lazarus. Religious envy often raises the Ire, the anger, of some religious leaders; and this was one of those cases.
“Much people of the Jews therefore knew that He was there: and they came not for Jesus’ sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom He had raised from the dead.
But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus.” John 12:9-11 (KJB)
You would think that seeing Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead would have opened the eyes of all the Jewish people. Why did it not? Because of their hard heart of unbelief. They trusted a religious system; not God. They loved the attention of the crowds; not God. They loved to have power over the people; not surrendering themselves to the power of God.
Do we not know, that every time a soul comes to Jesus in faith, that is a resurrection from the dead. That is the greatest miracle of all. That a man, a woman, boy, or girl who calls on the name of Jesus Christ in faith is doing so because they have heard Jesus say “Come”, and because He has made the spirit of that individual hear, just as dead Lazarus did.
Redemption is given us by the grace of God through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ the Son of God, who is God the Son.
“I am the Good Shepherd: the Good Shepherd giveth His life for the sheep.” John 10:11 (KJB)
Today, on this topic of the Good Shepherd I will share with you the thoughts said by brighter minds than my own…
From F. B. Meyer on John 10:7-18:
“He who came in by the door which John the Baptist opened has become the door. It stands open to all comers-if any man. The salvation here mentioned refers to the entire process of soul-health: go in for fellowship; go out for service.
Wherever destruction is uppermost in speech or act, you may detect the presence of the great enemy of souls. Christ is ever constructive, saving, life-giving. Let us not be content until our life has become abundant life. Our life cost the Shepherd’s life. He did not hesitate to interpose Himself between the sheep and the wolf of hell. There is possible between our Lord and ourselves an intimacy of knowledge which can be compared to nothing less than that which subsists between the Father and Himself.
Note how our Lord looked beyond the hurdles of the Jewish fold and thought tenderly of the Gentile sheep that were far away. In the revelation committed to the Apostle Paul He gave vent to His love, and through the succeeding centuries He has ever sought them. There may be many folds, but there can be only one flock. Men die because they cannot help it; Christ was born that He might die; He died because He would.” THROUGH THE BIBLE DAY BY DAY
From John Gill on John 10:11:
“I am the good shepherd,…. A shepherd of his Father’s appointing, calling, and sending, to whom the care of all his sheep, or chosen ones, was committed; who was set up as a shepherd over them by him, and was entrusted with them; and who being called, undertook to feed them; and being promised, was sent unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel; and under the character of a shepherd, died for them, and rose again, and is accountable to his Father for everyone of them; the shepherd, the great and chief shepherd, the famous one, so often spoken and prophesied of, Gen_49:24. And discharging his office aright, he is the good shepherd; as appears in his providing good pasture, and a good fold for his sheep; in protecting them from their enemies; in healing all their diseases; in restoring their souls when strayed from him; in watching over them in the night seasons, lest any hurt them; in searching for them, when they have been driven, or scattered in the dark and cloudy day; in caring for them, so that he lose none of them; and in nothing more than in what follows,
the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep: not only exposes it to danger, as David did his, for the sake of his father’s flock, but gives it away freely and voluntarily, for the sake of the sheep; in their room and stead, as a ransom for them, that they may be delivered from death, and might have eternal life: the Ethiopic version renders it, “the good shepherd gives his life for the redemption of his sheep”; so Nonnus paraphrases it, the “ransom price of his own sheep”: this belongs to Christ’s priestly office, and with the Jews priests were sometimes shepherds hence we read (q) of רועים כהנים, “shepherds that were priests”. Philo the Jew speaks (r) of God as a shepherd and king; and of his setting his word, his firstborn Son, over the holy flock, to take care of it: and a good shepherd is thus described by the (s) Jews;
“as רועה טוב, “a good shepherd”, delivers the flock from the wolf, and from the lions, (see Joh_10:12) so he that leads Israel, if he is good, delivers them from the idolatrous nations, and from judgment below and above, and leads them to the life of the world to come, or eternal life; (see Joh_10:10).”
Which description agrees with Christ, the good shepherd; and so the Lord is said to be רועה טוב, “the good shepherd”, and merciful, and there is none like him (t).” John Gill’s EXPOSITION OF THE WHOLE BIBLE
Christmas day. That means a whole lot to many people. It is a holiday and you can get off from work. It is a time of families gathering together, and enjoying one another’s laughs, jokes, and hearing of some different life situations from each other.
Christmas is about the birth of a King. His name is Jesus. He is called Immanuel or Emmanuel meaning “God with us”.
This day each year is a reminder each year that God came down, in the Person of His Son, was born as a baby, and laid in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. We also need to remember why He came down to us.
He came to redeem us to Himself. He did that by living a sinless life; without spot or blemish He obeyed God the Father in all things; went to the cross, shedding His own blood to give us a relationship with the Creator of all that is – the Heavenly Father.
I sometimes hear people speak of Jesus in the past tense. I have a few times caught myself doing the same, and I speak to myself, and or others and say, “He is”. He was there with the disciples, and He was in the manger. He died, was buried, and He rose again. Because He rose from the dead we can rest assured that He not only was; but Jesus is, as well.
Have a very Merry Christmas and I hope you remember each day that Jesus is.
“And He said unto them, ‘Why are ye troubled? And why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold My hands and My feet, that it is I myself: handle Me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have.’ ” Luke 24:38-39 (KJB)
Here we are on the Eve of Christmas and there are many of us who are troubled. Most of our trouble is dealing with material things; such as financial debt, did I get the right gift for some loved one; or could be even troubled because of inability financially to buy gifts for loved ones.
The trouble of which Jesus addresses above is concerning His appearance to His followers whom He has just appeared to in this room. The door was locked, and He came in. Keep in mind all of the life of Jesus was about fulfilling the word and will of His Father, purchase our salvation, our redemption by His death on the cross, be buried – not just to prove His death, but to fulfill the type of the scapegoat of Leviticus 16:20-28. When that portion of the Law was fulfilled He rose from the grave alive with “flesh and bone”.
The disciples, followers were troubled because they thought they were seeing a ghost, a spirit, but Jesus quells that by telling them to look at His hands and His feet. His hands still had the scars from the nails of the crucifixion; His feet as well. Then He confirmed His body by speaking of being flesh and bone. He even invites them to touch Him… “Handle Me”
Why are we troubled? We are not mindful enough of the presence of the Lord Jesus, the bodily resurrected Lord Jesus alive, and seated at the right hand of the Father; and that He has given us the earnest of His Holy Spirit abiding in all those who are His (Romans 8:9; 2 Corinthians 1:22; 5:5); awaiting that day when we shall be glorified with Him.
The One was born of a virgin, lay in the manger in Bethlehem, grew to be the Man that would give His life as the sacrifice for all our sin. He was buried, and He rose from the dead. He died for you and me. Why? Because He loves us so much He gave.
Child of God; if you are troubled about things in this world, your family situation, your finances, your health, or your eternal condition, then look to the One who has showed Himself alive forevermore.
“And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, said unto them, ‘Ye have brought this Man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined before you, have found no fault in this Man touching those things whereof ye accuse Him: no, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto Him.
I will therefore chastise Him, and release.’ ” Luke 23:13-16 (KJB)
During the first days and months of Jesus’s ministry there were those who despised His life and His teaching. For years they sought how they might destroy Him. When we first note this in Scripture is when Jesus stands in a synagogue and reads the prophecy from Isaiah (Luke 4:17-19; Isaiah 61:1-2). There they tried to kill Him.
There are two gospels that tell us that Pilate saw that it was for envy they sought to kill Him (Matthew 27:18; Mark 15:10). They were envious of His power, authority, and His closeness with God. He was, and is in fact God become flesh – God Incarnate. That alone sent them into a tizzy fit.
Now, they have succeeded in a trial of their own making, in secret, very early in the morning, and these have found Him guilty based on false witnesses that their testimony did not even agree. Yet the religious leaders can not condemn any to death; they must get Him before the governor, who is by Roman appointment, and he must declare Him guilty and sentence Him to die by crucifixion.
Pilate, nor Herod found any fault, neither guilt for any crime in Jesus. Pilate wanted to release Him. The people cried “Crucify Him. Crucify Him.” They even chose the release of a guilty murderer over the sinless Son of God.
Pilates verdict was “Not guilty”. Jesus the Man who was the Son of God, born of the virgin Mary lived a life without sin, was guilty of nothing, sentenced to die because He was perfect.
Dying on the cross He took the curse that was ours. He was judged by His own Father as guilty, because on the cross He became sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him (2 Corinthians 5:21). He lives. All who will come to Him He gives eternal life.
Jesus Christ paid the sin debt that was mine and yours. He carried away our sins in His burial. He rose victoriously declaring the sin debt fully paid.
“For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in Me, ‘And He was reckoned among the transgressors:’ for the things concerning Me have an end.” Luke 22:37 (KJB)
Jesus’s life is about to take a turn that would put the world in a tizzy. He was about to fulfill the most difficult part of His work, calling, and ministry for the glory of His Father.
That difficult work was His death on the cross; but there was more to take place there than the human eyes can see. The hate, and unbelief of the religious mob would be brought to light. The hatred of the world toward what is holy and righteous would be revealed as well.
Jesus knew that His life, and ministry as He walked among His brethren, the Jewish people, was always questioned; there were many doubts, and much unbelief concerning who He was; and today after 2000 years, of who He is. He also knew, and was willing to fulfill Scripture.
The quotation He gives in Luke 22:37 is from the following passage from the prophet Isaiah:
“Therefore will I divide Him with the great, and He shall divide the spoil with the strong; because He hath poured out His soul unto death: and He was numbered with the transgressors; and He bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.” Isaiah 53:12
If in the life of Jesus as He walked among Adam’s race He was about the fulfilling of God’s word, the prophecies concerning Himself; shouldn’t His people of 2019 love the word, the prophecies, the law, and the poetry of Scripture as well? Most surely. We should also be looking for the fulfillment of all that has not yet been fulfilled, and living accordingly for His honor, power, and glory.
Of the last part of Jesus’s words in Luke 22:37 John Gill wrote:
“for the things concerning me have an end. The Syriac version renders it, “all of them”; or “the whole of it”, as the Ethiopic version; all that were concerning him; all the counsels, purposes, and decrees of God, relating to his sufferings and death; to the manner in which his death was brought about, by one of his disciples betraying him; to the several indignities he should be used with, by Herod, Pontius Pilate, the Jews, and Roman soldiers; and to his death itself; all which were by the determinate counsel, and foreknowledge of God, and now were about to have, and quickly had their fulfilling end; as also all his own covenant engagements and agreements he entered into with his Father, to bear the sins of many, to make his soul an offering for sin, to be numbered with transgressors, and pour out his soul unto death; and likewise all the types and shadows of the law, all sacrifices in general, and the daily sacrifice in particular, with the passover, brazen serpent, and other things, even the whole law, both moral and ceremonial, had their full and final accomplishment in him; together with all the prophecies of the Old Testament relating to this matter, particularly Gen_3:15.” John Gill’s EXPOSITION OF THE BIBLE
If you profess to be a Christian, and yet you are unbelieving toward the word of God, then you need to examine your heart and life to be sure you are in the faith.
“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.
“Now that the dead are raised, even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. For He is not a God of the dead, but of the living: for all live unto Him.” Luke 20:37-38 (KJB)
When He was asked by the Sadducees about a spurious thought, that was only being used to try and trap Him, the Master of life and death gave them that answer.
The Sadducees were a group who did not believe in anything spiritual – no angels, no spirits, no resurrection of the dead. Someone said, “That is why they are sad you see”.
Jesus uses the quotation from Exodus 3:6…
” ‘…Moreover He said, I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ And Moses hid his face; for he was afraid to look upon God.” Exodus 3:6
Jesus confirms that there is a resurrection; that when this body of flesh and blood dies and lies in the grave, returns to the dust from which it came, that there is life after death. He clearly states that “God is the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob”, and that would include all the other saints who are with Him.
There are many people who do not believe in the resurrection. They are part of the same group of Sadducees, and desperately in need of a change of heart and mind. Hear the voice of the Master today.
You can believe Him, and live forever. You can reject Him and die forever. Jesus died on the cross for our sins, He was buried, and He rose again. He is one day returning to separate the believing from the unbelieving. Where do you fit in?
God is the God of the living.
“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…’ ” Luke 18:31 (KJB)
Since the day of His birth the salvation story was for Jesus to go to Jerusalem, and die for the sins of Adam’s race, thus the world (John 3:16). Jesus’s heart was to glorify the Father, and accomplish all that the Father gave Him to do.
All that the Law had spoken condemned Adam kind, and provided no hope but only complete obedience to it, without flaw, or blemish. The prophets spoke of One who would come, to be the sacrifice for sin, One who was without sin, without flaw, who would fulfill all the commandments of God (Isaiah 51 – 53), and Jesus was the fulfillment of those prophecies.
At this time of year we are reminded of the birth, the first coming of our Redeemer. Lest any forget Christmas is not just a holiday, it is a Holy day, to remind us that Jesus was born in a manger in Bethlehem to one day (33 years later), go up to Jerusalem, to be falsely accused, wrongly and evilly judged, and found guilty of nothing more than being the perfect, sinless Son of God. He was sentenced to die on a Roman cross on that hill called the “the Skull”. He bled, He died, was buried, and He rose again.
We need to always remember that if God has said it; it shall be done. We do not need to go up to Jerusalem to meet Jesus, and to call on His name. He is as close as you speaking a word. Call on His name. He will hear. He will save.
“And when He was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, He answered them and said, ‘The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: neither shall they say, ‘Lo here!’ or, ‘Lo there!’ for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.’ ” Luke 17:20-21 (KJB)
Please note who is asking this of Jesus. The Pharisees, a sect of religious leaders who did not even see the signs of the coming of the Messiah. The one’s who should have not missed the obvious.
They were more concerned with rituals, and religious observances, etc. than they were with the presence of God, or the kingdom of God.
To their question Jesus answers. His answer is probably not what the Pharisees wanted to hear. He is basically telling them, “It is here, near you, and you are missing it”. They missed all the Scriptural signs of Jesus’s birth. They are missing the signs they have actually heard and seen Him do.
The kingdom of God is not announced like a business advertisement. It is not brought in by demonstration and fanfare. God is present all around; within His people, and within creation. It is revealed in the person of Jesus Christ.
If you refuse and reject Jesus Christ for who He is you miss the kingdom of God. He died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and He rose from that grave and forever lives within the hearts and lives of those who love Him, and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
“And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.” Luke 15:20 (KJB)
In Luke 15 Jesus tells us three beautiful stories. The first is of a Lost Sheep; the second of a Lost Coin; and the third of a Lost Son. I am dealing with the third today, knowing it is the most remembered one often called the story of the Prodigal Son.
Please read the whole chapter. I will deal mostly with this one verse.
The lost son was lost because he decided to leave the father’s house and go out on his own living (In riotous living), on his inheritance, make friends, and be set for life. He finds himself broke, busted, and bankrupt; and feeding swine, and eating with the very hogs he was feeding. His “friends” had forsaken him, since his money ran out. Something we should all remember is that even as money, the material is temporary; so are people who are friends when you have money.
I like the phrase in verse 17 which states, “And when he came to himself”. He got to thinking. His mind cleared up, and he got to thinking about his father, and the way it could be at home. He humbled himself, went back to his father, to submit to him; not as his son; but to be a servant.
He heads home, and we can see something quite clearly. The father was watching for his son’s return. I can imagine everyday, several times a day he would look down the road in the direction his prodigal son would be coming from, longing to see him treading the way back.
We see the father spotting his son at a far distance, had compassion on him; and I would imagine tears joy and happiness flowing from his eyes; and he runs to greet him. The father prepares a great feast, a party welcoming the son home.
This father represents the God of Heaven. The lost son is anyone who is away from God; out of fellowship with God, and have no joy, peace, or love in their life.
The Father of our Lord Jesus Christ longs for your return. Come to your senses, and know that the Father is waiting for your return. When you start that return He will run to greet you.
When does God run? When ever His wayward child comes home.
“So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:33 (KJB)
Jesus has dealt with the cost of following Him in verses 25-33 of Luke 14. Many who have or are thinking of themselves as followers of Christ have truly sacrificed, and given themselves for that great name – the name of Jesus.
There is a cost to being a disciple of Jesus Christ. First of all, your heart and life become His – you are His possession. You are no longer your own. You are bought with a price (1 Corinthians 6:20; 7:23). Secondly, you see as He sees, you believe as He believes. If He has declared something a sin; it is sin. You are in agreement with Him and His word. Human opinion is moot against the word of God. Third, you love Jesus Christ more than family, friends, work, play, sports, deer hunting, hunting, wife, children, grandchildren, and more than your own life (Luke 14:26). In this there are times when you will stand for the truth of God and His word at the disdain of these. Fourth, not the least of these is your greatest treasure is Jesus Christ Himself (Matthew 6:21; Luke 12:34).
The cost of discipleship – of following Jesus – is the cross we must choose to pick up. Let us keep in mind the price He paid that we could do so. He went to the cross, laid down His life, took the judgment that was yours and mine, died, was buried, and then He rose again. Through Him, there is life everlasting.
“He that heareth you heareth Me; and he that despiseth you despiseth Me; and he that despiseth Me despiseth Him that sent Me.” Luke 10:16 (KJB)
Hearing the words and teachings of Jesus, and hearing the gospel is the pathway to knowing the holy, righteous, and Just God. Jesus has pronounced “Woe” upon some cities because of their refusal to hear (Luke 10:13-15).
Many times Jesus says, “He that hath ears, let him hear” (Matthew 11:15; 13:9; Luke 8:18; 14:35). Of course our ears are for hearing. However, too often we do not hear what is being spoken to us by others even though we are looking them in the face, hearing the words, and their sounds; yet we do not hear.
In the verse above Jesus likens hearing the disciple to hearing Him. It would seem that the “Not hearing” is the despising of the disciple, thus the Lord Himself.
The words of the Lord, even spoken by His children; a born again child of God; is as spoken from the Lord Himself. To reject the word of the Lord is to despise Him. The Dictionary.com site defines “Despise” = “Despise = “to regard with contempt, distaste, disgust, or disdain; scorn; loathe.”
That is certainly not the way a disciple of Jesus Christ should be about hearing the word of the Lord. It is, however, the attitude of many.
Let us who are of Christ Jesus have our hearts and minds and ears open to the word of the Lord. Let us have hearing ears, not despising Him. When we hear Jesus Christ we hear the Father as well.
Hear the word of Jesus Christ the Son of God today. Hearing, call on His name in repentant faith believing that He died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and He rose again.
“And He put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, ‘Maid, arise.’ ” Luke 8:54 (KJB)
A young girl who was sick and dying, of the age of twelve. A woman who had had a medical problem of losing blood for twelve years (Luke 8:42, 43). I am not sure of any significance in the years.
There is certainly significance in the Healer. The woman touches Jesus as He comes through a crowd of people. She reaches out and touches the “border of His garment”, and the blood flow is stopped. She is healed in a moment by the Great Physician. What physicians could not do in twelve years; just one touch of the border of Jesus’s garment, and she is made whole.
Before Jesus gets to the twelve year old girl to heal her, she dies. He makes a statement that the people around her laugh about;
“And all wept, and bewailed her: but He said, ‘Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.’” v. 52
Because of the unbelief He faces He put the mockers out. Jesus takes her by the hand and speaks the words, “Maid, arise” and her spirit, her soul, her life returned to her. She sat up, and Jesus told them to give her something to eat.
The Son of God, the Son of Man, God the Son cares for the lives of people. Yesterday we witnessed in the Word that He raised a widow’s son. Today He heals a woman with a blood issue for twelve years simply by her touch of faith; and he raises a twelve year old girl to life again.
He cares for you. He cared all the way to the cross to die for your sins, and took them upon Himself receiving His Father’s wrath, was buried, and He rose again; and He forever lives. Call on His name. He hears. He saves; and in saving He heals, and raises what was dead to life.
“And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, ‘That a great prophet is risen up among us;’ and, ‘That God hath visited His people.’ ” Luke 7:16 (KJB)
Her son was dead. The widow was grieving. She had no idea what she was going to do now to live. Her son, the joy of her life; as with any mother; was grieved by her loss. It also went deeper than that. Her son was her means of a living; buying the groceries, keeping the roof over her head. Now he is dead. [Read of the event in Luke 7:11-17]
As the funeral procession was being carried out for burial they pass by Jesus, and He says to the woman “Weep not” then He touched the bier or coffin, and said to the woman’s son, “Young man, I say unto you, Arise”, and he sat up and spoke. O, what joy must have come into this widow’s heart and life on this blessed day.
That is the event that led up to the verse for today. What would have been my response at seeing a dead man rise before my eyes? What would your response be? Probably one of wonder, awe, but also fear.
Knowing the One whom I know now; that is Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, who is God the Son; I would, and will always glorify God.
God has visited His people. He sent Jesus His holy, only begotten Son, and He is called Immanuel which is “God with us” (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). He is the Great Prophet foretold through Moses (Deuteronomy 18:15).
The greatest of miracles which Jesus performs today is when a soul is saved through His death, burial, and resurrection calling on His name in repentance and faith.
Have GOD come visit you today.
“So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness. But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.” Romans 8:8-11 (KJB)
For those who dwell in Jesus Christ there is no condemnation (Romans 8:1). Our dwelling in Him is due to His dwelling in us. If His is not living in us; we are not in Him.
“Dwelling” means the place of our abiding; the place we live, where we sleep, we eat, we rest, we learn, we grow, etc.. For Him to dwell in us is for our benefit.
According to these verses, and the text of Scripture then to live in the flesh; to live a carnal life is the opposite of living or dwelling in the Spirit of Christ Jesus.
- They that are in the flesh cannot please God;
- You are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God dwell in you;
- If you do not have the Spirit of God in you, you are not God’s;
- If Christ is in you the carnality of the body is dead, because of sin (Isaiah 5:18);
- The Spirit is life because of righteousness – the righteousness of Jesus Christ;
- Jesus Christ was crucified, buried, and raised to life again;
- Just as Jesus Christ was raised to life again, the LORD will also raise our mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwells in us.
If you are condemned by your sinful life come to Jesus Christ. Trust His work of death on the cross, His burial, and bodily resurrection. He will redeem you, forgive you, and set you free.
“Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” Romans 2:1-4 (KJB)
These are without excuse because they are able to make judgments of others. Why does the religious, moralist think they shall escape the judgment of God? (v.3). They will not. There are three things mentioned in these verses about our gracious God.
1. His goodness;
2. His forbearance; which is His tolerance of us;
3. His longsuffering.
His longsuffering is patience. Patience = the duration which God demonstrates His goodness and forbearance for long periods of time. He deliberately shows us patience even when we think we are so moral that He has nothing to judge us for.
Without the grace of God through the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ we all are guilty before God. We are condemned sinners; transgressors of His law, guilty, and condemned. Turn to Jesus and live, or continue in death.
“Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
‘Son of man, cause Jerusalem to know her abominations, and say, ‘Thus saith the Lord GOD unto Jerusalem; ‘Thy birth and thy nativity is of the land of Canaan; thy father was an Amorite, and thy mother an Hittite. And as for thy nativity, in the day thou wast born thy navel was not cut, neither wast thou washed in water to supple thee; thou wast not salted at all, nor swaddled at all. None eye pitied thee, to do any of these unto thee, to have compassion upon thee; but thou wast cast out in the open field, to the loathing of thy person, in the day that thou wast born. And when I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thine own blood, I said unto thee in thy blood, ‘Live;’ yea, I said unto thee in thy blood, ‘Live.’ ” Ezekiel 16:1-6 (KJB)
Ezekiel’s word from God for Israel is that “You were found by Me in a state of death, and dying. No one else took pity on you. There is no other god who found you, and gave you life. I said unto you, ‘Live’ and gave you My grace and mercy.”
The condition of every man, woman, boy, or girl who has ever been born is death. Apart from the grace of God, and the blood of the Lamb of God, who is Jesus Christ there is only death for all.
The only Man who ever lived without sin died for us all, that we might have life through His name. His name is Jesus.
May we not flaunt His grace through licentious, debaucherous, hate filled living which comes from death.
Paul the apostle tells us, “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23), and he also tells us that “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures; and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures…” (1 Corinthians 15:3-4).
The Lord GOD through faith in Jesus Christ is the only One who gives life. Call on His name.
“And they shall know that I am the LORD, that I have not said in vain that I would do this evil unto them.” Ezekiel 6:10 (KJB)
The phrase “…Shall know that I am the LORD” is used three other times in this chapter (vv. 6, 13, 14), and it is used at least 59 other times throughout the prophecy of Ezekiel. In chapter 6 it is directed toward the nation of Israel, and they are being reminded of why they are in captivity.
God will have His people know that He is the LORD. That should be a reminder to all people of all days, times, ages, that GOD will do whatever it takes to make His people holy; because He is holy.
In many of the other 59 times the phrase is used it is toward the nations around them. The LORD desires that people of all lands know that He is the LORD.
To know that He is the LORD is to know Him personally. Know Him as our Creator, the All Powerful, All Knowing, All Present, and Immutable [Unchanging] God; also to know Him as Redeemer, Savior, Lord, and King. To know Him is to see Him revealed in the person of His Son Jesus Christ who took all of our sin upon Himself upon the cross, bled and died, was buried, and He rose from death, conquering death, hell, and the grave; and He forever lives as our Mediator between God and men (1 Timothy 2:5).
Turn to Jesus Christ from sin, and know that the LORD, He is the LORD.
“In the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah came this word from the LORD, saying,
‘Thus saith the LORD; ‘Stand in the court of the LORD’S house, and speak unto all the cities of Judah, which come to worship in the LORD’S house, all the words that I command thee to speak unto them; diminish not a word: if so be they will hearken, and turn every man from his evil way, that I may repent Me of the evil, which I purpose to do unto them because of the evil of their doings. And thou shalt say unto them, ‘Thus saith the LORD; If ye will not hearken to Me, to walk in My law, which I have set before you, to hearken to the words of My servants the prophets, whom I sent unto you, both rising up early, and sending them, but ye have not hearkened; then will I make this house like Shiloh, and will make this city a curse to all the nations of the earth.’
So the priests and the prophets and all the people heard Jeremiah speaking these words in the house of the LORD.” Jeremiah 26:1-7 (KJB)
Shiloh is the place where the ark of the covenant was kept in the Tabernacle in the wilderness which Moses had made after the pattern of God’s in Heaven. Shiloh was the place from which it was taken foolishly by the priest thinking it had special powers even when the hearts of the people had turned against hearing the word of the LORD. It would do the reader good to read 1 Samuel 1 – 4 to get the background of what Jeremiah is saying.
When people will not hear the word of the LORD, and do what He says then you can be sure no amount of prayer, special offering, sacrifice will suffice to please God. He is pleased when we hear His word, and do it.
There are many places that are alive with activity in the name of the Lord, but full of ignorant, disobedient, sacrificing, giving people; separated from God, and do not even realize it. Their lives are empty and without meaning, because these places have a whole lot of fire, but not fire from God in Heaven. They will not hear and heed the word of the LORD.
“Therefore will I do unto this house, which is called by my name,…. The temple, as in Jer_7:11, for though it was called by his name, and his name was called upon in it, yet this could not secure it from desolation; for so the name of the Lord was set in the tabernacle at Shiloh, and yet he forsook it through the wickedness of the people:
wherein ye trust; they trusted in the sacrifices there offered up, and the service there performed; in the holiness of the place, and because it was the residence of the divine Majesty; wherefore they thought this would be a protection and defence of them; and this was trusting in lying words, as in Jer_7:4,
and unto the place which I gave unto you and your fathers; meaning either Jerusalem; and so the Syriac version renders it, “and to the city”; or the whole land of Judea, as in Jer_7:7,
as I have done to Shiloh; See Gill on Jer_7:12.” From John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible on Jeremiah 26:6
O hear the word of the LORD. God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him would not perish, but have eternal life. That is a starting place.
Destruction happened at Shiloh. Life eternal happens at the cross of Jesus Christ. Hear the word of the LORD.
Please go to this blog written by Doug Eaton at The Fight of Faith. Here is one paragraph…
The problem is that the way to find this glory and joy in God is to do the exact opposite of what you think you should do. It is like being submerged under a waterfall struggling for air. The most natural thing to do is to try to swim to the surface, but you will never get there because the crashing water will keep pushing you under. The right thing to do in that moment is swim down. It is only by swimming down that the water will spit you out down stream. This counter-intuitive nature is the same in the Christian life. If you are looking for true joy, he must increase, and we must decrease.
“The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering that the righteous is taken away from the evil.” Isaiah 57:1 (KJB)
First of all we need to understand who the righteous are. The righteous are those whom God declares righteous, and none other. In the context of Scripture these righteous are a remnant of Israel who were ashamed of the sin, debauchery, and evil in the land, and they kept themselves from it. The righteous of today are those who have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ death on the cross; His burial and resurrection proving the deal.
The death of the righteous is just as likely as the death of the evil. It is most likely going to happen, and none knows the day. The death of the righteous is not eternal. The death of the wicked is eternal. There is a place in Heaven prepared for the righteous. There is no place found for the evil in Heaven, so the only place for them is Hell.
When the righteous die there will be many wicked who applaud that death saying something like “Well that trouble maker is gone, and good riddance”, maybe just thinking it. The wicked always see the righteous as the cause of trouble. At any rate they do not care at their passing.
The merciful are the same as the righteous, and will be taken away from the evil that God has declared judgment upon. God knows how to deliver the righteous from the evil…
“The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished…” 2 Peter 2:9
Become one who is righteous before God. Call on the name of the One who died on the cross for you, was buried, and He rose again. His name is Jesus Christ the Son of God, God the Son.
“Fear not; for thou shalt not be ashamed: neither be thou confounded; for thou shalt not be put to shame: for thou shalt forget the shame of thy youth, and shalt not remember the reproach of thy widowhood any more. For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of Hosts His name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall He be called.” Isaiah 54:4-5 (KJB)
I love the “Fear not” of these verses, and all of Scripture. This one seems to be extra powerful. It is probably due to the prophecy before it of our Suffering Servant Savior prophecies in chapters 51-53. Their Messiah would come, suffer, and die even by their own religious establishments hands, yet He is “Smiten of God and afflicted” (Isaiah 53:4).
Through the sacrifice; the suffering, the bleeding, the dying of Jesus Christ, all of sins debt was paid.
I leave you with more thoughts from F. B. Meyer…
“We have heard the exiles summoned to leave Babylon, and have beheld the Savior becoming the sin-bearer. Here our attention is recalled to the still desolate condition of Jerusalem. See Neh_1:3; Neh_2:3; Neh_2:13-17. Jehovah says, Sing, but Israel replies that she cannot sing so long as she lies desolate. In reply God declares His inalienable love: He is their husband still and has sworn that the waters of death and destruction shall never be able to separate them from Himself. The kindness of His mercy is everlasting, and His covenant of peace shall outlast the mountains and hills.
In the closing paragraph, Isa_54:11-17, we behold the chosen city emerging from her heap of ruins. Watched by the eye of the great Architect, wrought by unseen hands, tested by the line and plummet of righteousness, she arises to fulfill her mission to the world. To inspired hearts it seems as though her common stones are jewels. Her children are taught of the Lord. Every accusing voice is hushed. All weapons of destruction are impotent. The New Jerusalem seems to have come down from heaven.” THROUGH THE BIBLE DAY BY DAY – F. B. Meyer “The Wondrous Love of God” on Isaiah 54:1-17
“Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like Me, declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will do all My pleasure: calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth My counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed, I will also do it.” Isaiah 46:9-11 (KJB)
God has spoken, and every word He has spoken shall come to pass just as He has said. He has purposed, and every purpose will be done.
From F. B. Meyer
“Here is a startling contrast! Babylon is broken up. An invading army of stern monotheists have slain the idolatrous priests at their altars and are engaged in carrying out the idols for the bonfire. And as the Jewish remnant is witnessing the extraordinary spectacle, they are reminded that their God does not require to be borne. Nay, on the contrary He has borne His people from the earliest days and will continue to bear them till the heavens have passed away.
The contrast is a perpetual one. Some people carry their religion; others are carried by it. Some are burdened by minute prescriptions and an external ritual; others yield themselves to God, to be borne by Him in old age as they were in the helplessness of childhood. They are persuaded that He will bear them “as a man doth bear His son,” in all the way that they go, until they come to the prepared place. See Deu_1:31; Isa_63:9. God immediately responds to a trust like that, and His salvation does not tarry.” From Through the Bible Day by Day – F. B. Meyer on Isaiah 46:1-13
What He has spoken concerning His Son Jesus will come to pass. What He has purposed concerning you and me will be done.
I know people do not like hearing it; but the word of the LORD is working, His word will be hastened, and His judgment is coming. Hear the word of the Lord.
“When thus it shall be in the midst of the land among the people, as the shaking of an olive tree, as the gleaning grapes when the vintage is done. They shall lift up their voice, they shall sing for the majesty of the LORD, they shall cry aloud from the sea.
Wherefore glorify ye the LORD in the fires, the name of the LORD God of Israel in the isles of the sea. From the uttermost part of the earth have we heard songs, glory to the righteous. But I said, My leanness, my leanness, woe unto me! The treacherous dealers have dealt treacherously; yea, the treacherous dealers have dealt very treacherously.
Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth. And it shall come to pass, he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake. The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again. And it shall come to pass in that day, the LORD shall punish the host of the high ones on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited.
Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the LORD of Hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.” Isaiah 24:13-23 (KJB)
The only hope for Adam’s race, otherwise known as humankind, is Jesus Christ who is the Living Son of God, God the Living Son, who gave His own life for our redemption, was buried carrying away all our sin, condemnation, guilt, and shame, leaving that in the grave, and He arose victorious and because He lives we will live with Him forever. Believe Him. It is coming to pass just as it has been said.
“For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and his ears are open unto their prayers: but the face of the Lord is against them that do evil.
And who is he that will harm you, if ye be followers of that which is good? But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled; but sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ.” 1 Peter 3:12-16 (KJB)
Also consider reading 2 Chronicles 16 and note verses 7 – 10 especially: and Romans 8.
“Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.” James 5:7-8 (KJB)
The farmer prepares the land, the ground where he is sowing a crop, then he sows the seed, and he waits.
What does he wait for? A harvest of much more than he/she has sown in seeds planted. Some call it a gamble or chance. I call it faith that is based on the basic promise of the rewards of sowing and reaping.
The deeds we do, good and bad, are as seeds we sow. The good seeds we sow will bring a harvest; but also the bad seeds will bring a harvest.
As I sit here writing this post it is raining. It is a blessing to the beef, dairy, and grain farmers around near and far. The reason I mention this is because it is August, and usually the month of August is hot and we are in the midst of a drought, or at least really dry. The farmer is very dependent upon the mercies and graces of our God and Father to even have a crop of hay or grains. Cattle need it to live and produce milk, and meat that is used by billions of people around the world.
The grain farmer waits for months to bring in the harvest from the seed he/she has sown; and the typical gardener as well waits for several weeks before they see a good harvest. The the average beef farmer produces more cattle through the cattle they have through reproduction, then when those calves are born, they wait until they reach the preferred weight, then they take them to the stockyards for sale to the meat packers. These also have waited several months.
Anyway, I hope you may be asking; it you do not understand where I am going with this; “What has this farming got to do with me?” You too are sowing seeds.
There are good seeds in your life’s living; and there are bad seeds in your life. If you have not been redeemed by the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ your seeds are bad, and your harvest will be weeds and destruction (Galatians 6:7-8). Your harvest will be delayed too. Someone has said, “There are many sowing their wild oats, and then pray for a crop failure.” I understand that. There will, however be a harvest; one without great reward.
Good seed comes from the word of God through the Living Word who is Jesus Christ. There is a bountiful, beautiful harvest for all the good seed sown. Again there will be waiting. Believer, let us wait patiently for that harvest. We will not know how much, or how great until Jesus comes again; but we wait.
Waiting does not mean sitting down, and doing nothing. We must be all the more diligent in our labors for life, living, and our witness for Jesus Christ. Let us be faithful in our living to Jesus. He is coming, and could be very soon.
“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.
But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them; and that from a child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:12-15 (KJB)
Christians who live godly lives will suffer persecution. Have you ever been laughed at because of the simplicity of your faith in Christ, the power of the gospel of Jesus Christ to cleanse, to heal, to redeem, and get us into the presence of Holy God? Have you ever been threatened for your faith in Him? How about beaten and maybe left for dead?
Evil abounds in this world. Anyone who has eyes and ears knows there is evil in this world; and it is in the hearts of the people who live on this planet. As Christians we must guard our own hearts and minds through the word of God and prayer.
The Apostle tells us that “Evil men and seducers shall become worse and worse…” The evil ones are not only those who would do us physical harm; but also those who would do us spiritual harm by teaching lies, deceiving, and themselves being deceived.
So what do we do when evil surrounds us?
- Remember the things you have been taught from Scripture;
- Continue in those things applying them to your life, living for Jesus Christ and standing on His word;
- Always remember that those teachings you have learned in the word are the words of wisdom and for your salvation;
- There is absolutely no instruction to identify (to participate) with the world around us.
Always remember the gospel – the good news is – that Jesus Christ died for our sins, was buried and He rose again.
“All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” 1 Corinthians 6:12 (KJB)
Many of the Christians in Corinth seems to have been indifferent to the culture in which they lived. Sexual immorality was rampant in the city, and Christians were participating in the sin as well becoming more and more bound by their sinful actions; and thinking nothing of it.
It does the Christian of 2019 and every age to read the words of Paul in this chapter concerning these matters.
As Christians we are to live a life that honors, edifies, and glorifies the Holy and Righteous God who has purchased us through the blood of Jesus His Son. That is done through the Holy Spirit and the word of God; applying His teachings and commandments to our lives. We are not part of the evil world culture.
To yield to the temptation of the world is to be brought under the power of sin. There is gross sexual immorality in the Christian community. Eagerly participating in sexual intercourse before marriage; some after marriage who have no problem with sleeping with as many women or men as they can find. God is not pleased with this. He is not honored, He is not glorified; and neither is the Christian living such a licentious life a faithful witness for the Holiness of God.
Let me leave you this morning with the commentary of the Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary:
“1Co_6:12-20. Refutation of the antinomian defense of fornication as if it was lawful because meats are so.
All things are lawful unto me — These, which were Paul’s own words on a former occasion (to the Corinthians, compare 1Co_10:23, and Gal_5:23), were made a pretext for excusing the eating of meats offered to idols, and so of what was generally connected with idolatry (Act_15:29), “fornication” (perhaps in the letter of the Corinthians to Paul, 1Co_7:1). Paul’s remark had referred only to things indifferent: but they wished to treat fornication as such, on the ground that the existence of bodily appetites proved the lawfulness of their gratification.
me — Paul giving himself as a sample of Christians in general.
but I — whatever others do, I will not, etc.
lawful … brought under the power — The Greek words are from the same root, whence there is a play on the words: All things are in my power, but I will not be brought under the power of any of them (the “all things”). He who commits “fornication,” steps aside from his own legitimate power or liberty, and is “brought under the power” of an harlot (1Co_6:15; compare 1Co_7:4). The “power” ought to be in the hands of the believer, not in the things which he uses [Bengel]; else his liberty is forfeited; he ceases to be his own master (Joh_8:34-36; Gal_5:13; 1Pe_2:16; 2Pe_2:19). Unlawful things ruin thousands; “lawful” things (unlawfully used), ten thousands.” Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary 1 Corinthians 6:12-20
Be sure to read the whole chapter six. Let those of us who name the name of Christ Jesus live the name as well.
“Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 5:18-21 (KJB)
Sin’s offense against God began in the garden of Eden with Adam and Eve; and that passed on from one child of Adam, one after another. None are immune to sin (Romans 3:23).
People today in 2019 are too easily offended, and have forgotten how grossly our God, the Creator of all things, was offended by sin. Take the offense you feel and multiply that by a million million, and you might begin to experience the offense our Lord feels toward our sin. Note that I said “…you might…” but it is highly unlikely.
There is one who brought all of sin, and its contagions, disease, and death upon us; but praise the Lord of Hosts, there is One who takes it all away. He (Jesus Christ) bore our sins, our curse upon that old rugged cross, was buried carrying our sin, shame, condemnation, and death away; then, He rose again and He forever lives and reigns in all things.
Sin and death no longer need to have power over you. He defeated sin and death on the cross and showed it to be true by resurrection.
The rule and reign of sin has been stopped. What are you doing in that hog pen of sin?
“And some believed the things which were spoken, and some believed not.
And when they agreed not among themselves, they departed, after that Paul had spoken one word, ‘Well spake the Holy Ghost by Esaias the prophet unto our fathers, saying, ‘Go unto this people, and say, Hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and not perceive: for the heart of this people is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes have they closed; lest they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them.’
‘Be it known therefore unto you, that the salvation of God is sent unto the Gentiles, and they will hear it.'” Acts 28:24-28 (KJB)
Standing before the Jewish leaders in Rome Paul tells them of Jesus Christ and His death, burial, and resurrection. Some heard and believed. Many of them turned away from the truth and life to remain in lies and death.
The apostle reminds them of the words of Isaiah in chapter six of that prophecy, and Isaiah’s call. The prophet was told that he would tell the people of the time what God said, but they would not hear and believe. However, he was to be faithful in preaching what God said, no matter what.
It is evident to me that there is basically no difference in the people of the eighth century B.C. and the people of this twenty first century. There are people in every era of time who do not like the truth. Many want to continue doing things their way, in their time; or maybe not. They have the mentality, “Do not mix God/religion with life. It causes problems”.
God, His word, and His people have always been against sin. You have the choice of believing God and His word or of going, continuing down your slippery slope to death and eternal judgment
I pray you will hear and understand. I pray your eyes will be opened to see the truth of the true identity of Jesus the Christ, the Son of God, God the Son; who died on the cross for our sins, was buried, and He rose again. He is alive.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth My word, and believeth on Him that sent Me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.
Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For as the Father hath life in Himself; so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself; and hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.
Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear His voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” John 5:24-29 (KJB)
Life began with God. Life continues into eternity by Him and with Him. I believe everyone has a desire to live forever. That, is a God-given thing for all of Adam kind. Some seek life and living through science, and medical means. We all fight against sickness and diseases of all kinds for life. Eventually our fight with these things must give way to death. Sad, but true.
We are frail, failing, fallen beings in need of grace, and help from our Creator.
I have Good News for you today. You can live forever.
Did you read the words of Jesus above? If you hear His words, and believe on Him that sent Him you have everlasting, or eternal life; there is no condemnation to any who have believed Him (Romans 8:1), and they have passed from death to LIFE.
There is much to take in those six verses of Scripture. Life is what Jesus offers. Eternal life is what He gives to any and all who will hear His word and believe.
My question for you right now is; Which resurrection will you be in? The first one or the last one. The first is the resurrection of the Just – those who have been declared just by God because of His Son. The second is the resurrection of the unjust, the wicked who have rejected God and His grace.
See Revelation 20:5-6 and 20:12-15.
Through Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Son of Man, and God the Son there is LIFE for all who will hear.