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.

Experiencing Forgiveness

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sneaky and Condemned

I was reading in Jude this morning and was reminded of the study I did in this epistle about 13 years ago. I found the study and I share these thoughts from verse 4 again in 2021 because it is still true today.

“For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.” Jude 4 (NKJV).

Hopefully most Christians have noticed that there is a whole lot of religious rhetoric in the world and most of what you will see on what poses as “Christian Television”. The aim of many in these supposed ministries is not the promotion of the glory of Jesus Christ, but to fill their pocket books, and tell you things like, “If you are sick you have sinned”. They may not be so brash as to say that as clearly as that, but that is what they mean.

These are apostates. They actually hate the truth of Jesus Christ. They deny Jesus Christ by changing the meaning of His death on the cross, and will tell you things, such as, “On the cross Jesus was just a little wimp who couldn’t do anything.” The truth of that is that the victory of Jesus was the cross. It was on the cross where Satan, and Hell and sin were defeated. During that three hours of darkness there was the greatest war which has ever taken place; that ever took place in eternity. Jesus was and is the Victor because after He was laid in a borrowed grave He came out alive showing the victory of the cross.

The men and women who proclaim that your life should be without sickness, you should always be victorious, and always have a full bank account; and if you don’t you have sinned; are liars and are following their father the devil. They are deceivers and antichrist.

Beware of those teachers who call on you to give money to them, “And you will be blessed a hundred fold”. Jesus warned,

“Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in My name, saying, ‘I am Christ’; and shall deceive many.’ ”  Matthew 24:4-5

Now, these apostates may not be actually saying they are Christ, but they are denying the very power of Christ, and His cross. When you deny the power of His cross you deny Him.

These teachers are condemned people. They will have a place in eternity, but not with Jesus Christ. Be aware of false teachers. Believe the Word of God, and trust Him.

Sharing What We Know

“A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards.”  Proverbs 29:11

“For this cause therefore have I called for you, to see you, and to speak with you: because that for the hope of Israel I am bound with this chain.”  Acts 28:20

May we as Christians learn when to speak what we know, and the right time to speak it; and to speak with it seasoned with salt and filled with love, mercy and grace.

What the Christ must know most is that Jesus died on the cross, was buried, and that He rose again. We must also be faithful in proclaiming the whole counsel of God – that is the whole of the word of God; believing and trusting that what God has said will come to pass just as He said it. His word is inerrant and infallible.

Discretion and Knowledge; Sowing and Reaping

“My son, attend unto my wisdom, and bow thine ear to my understanding: that thou mayest regard discretion, and that thy lips may keep knowledge.”  Proverbs 5:1-2
“Say not ye, ‘There are yet four months, and then cometh harvest?’ Behold, I say unto you, Lift up your eyes, and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest. And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together. And herein is that saying true, ‘One soweth, and another reapeth.’
I sent you to reap that whereon ye bestowed no labour: other men laboured, and ye are entered into their labours.”
  John 4:35-38

We need to ask the Lord to give us always the heart and mind for sound judgment; that requires wisdom, understanding and knowledge. That also requires us listening to others – even those we disagree with on certain things that we might grow in knowledge.

Since Jesus tells us that the harvest is already ready, then we need to see the great need for telling the lost and the condemned and the perishing that Jesus Christ the Son of the Living God gave His life on the cross for our sins, He was buried carrying away all our sin, guilt and condemnation, then He rose and came out of that grave alive justifying those who will believe, forever. O what a glorious harvest Jesus is reaping.

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.

Jesus Prayed For Us

“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.

Remember Jesus Is

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.

Accusation and the Judge

“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.

 

All That Is Written

“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.

Giving From Poverty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What He Should Accomplish At Jerusalem

“And, behold, there talked with Him two men, which were Moses and Elias: who appeared in glory, and spake of His decease which He should accomplish at Jerusalem.” Luke 9:30-31 (KJB)

Jerusalem. The city of Peace. The city of David. Sometimes called the city of God. It is also a city of great division, scorn, and evil.

It is the city of great admiration of the people of Israel, and the world. It has been said, “As goes Jerusalem; so goes the world”. David in one of his Psalms tells us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6).

Jesus is said to have had His eyes set on Jerusalem (Luke 9:51, 53), and that was due to the calling in His life since before the foundation of the earth was set. In the text before our above verses Jesus is on the Mount speaking with Moses and Elijah about the coming days; and not too far off.

Jerusalem would be the place of His great sacrifice. Jesus would lay down His life for the sins of the whole world; and He would do so because He loved, and revered His Father; and He loved lost, condemned sinners.

In the mind of the ordinary human being, dying does not seem like much to accomplish. Some of the teaching I have heard among the prosperity gospel folks, makes it sound as though Jesus failed in dying on the cross. One of the final statements Jesus made before He died on the cross was, “It is finished” (John 19:30). May I shout with the words…. IT WAS HIS VICTORY… ; and His bodily resurrection is the proof of it (Romans 1:4), and our justification.

Jesus accomplished, at Jerusalem, all that He had came to earth as a man to do. He accomplished in His death all that the Law and the Prophets could not do – the redemption of Israel, and the redemption of all those in the world who will come to Him believing; receiving the blessed gift of His grace.

Call on His name believing. He will hear. He will save.

Irrevocable

“For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.” Romans 11:29 (KJB)

In chapters 9 – 11 of Romans the apostle Paul has spoken of his nation of people from which he was born, the Hebrews. They have been a people whose eyes have been blinded to the truth of who Jesus is. Even the great apostle was blinded to that truth until the Lord Jesus Himself put him face down on the ground on his way to Damascus to bring back Christians for trial and death (Acts 9).

Now, there are many who tell us that God is finished with the Jewish people. Reading this verse alone (11:29) should be ample evidence that God does not go back on His promises. If not read the whole of chapter 11.  If that does not suit your appetite then read chapters nine through eleven thoroughly.  If you are still not satisfied read the Old Testament through.

The Promises of God to Israel are irrevocable. They will not be recalled; because God does not recall His promises.

God will finish His work with Israel when He has taken the Church to her reward (“…the fulness of the Gentiles be come in”).

The Christian should be able to rejoice in the fact of this irrevocable promise of God. Knowing this gives us the assurance that what He has began in us He is able to complete as well (Philippians 1:6).

The death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is an irrevocable promise of God, that whosoever believes on Him will not perish, but will have everlasting life.

The Promised Son

“Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel: neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, ‘In Isaac shall thy seed be called.’
That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son.” Romans 9:6-9 (KJB)

Abraham had a son by Hagar, Ishmael (Genesis 16); but he was not God’s promised son. The promise was that Sarah would have a son. Many people do not realize it but Abraham had many other sons too through another wife by the name of Keturah (Genesis 25:1-6); so just because you may be born of the stock of Abraham does not make you a child of God.

You become a child of God through the Son of Promise. Isaac was a child born of faith to a man 100 years of age, and a woman of 90 years of age. God promised them a son. They had a son in God’s time; not theirs.

The Son of Promise through which one becomes a child of God is the Son of God Himself who born into this world as any other child, yet not just any other child – He is the Son of God. He came for one purpose, and that purpose was to glorify His Father; and He would do that by giving Himself as the perfect Lamb of God on a cross to die for the sins of the world.

Jesus Christ, the Son of God, God the Son died on the cross, was buried, and He rose again fulfilling all the Father’s will for His life.  He is the Son of Promise. He is the way for anyone to become a child of God; by grace through faith call on His name.  His name is Jesus.

The Judgment of The LORD

“The just LORD is in the midst thereof; He will not do iniquity: every morning doth He bring His judgment to light, He faileth not; but the unjust knoweth no shame.” Zephaniah 3:5 (KJB)

The LORD is always good. There is never a time when He is not.  If He were not also Holy, Just, Righteous, and Jealous He would not be good.

The people in the day of Zephaniah’s prophecy were feeling quite positive of God’s presence with them. Judah, Jerusalem was counting on the fact that God would not leave them, neither forsake them; and the prophet assures them that He is indeed in the midst of them.

The LORD in their midst did not excuse their iniquity, their sin, their rebellion against the LORD. It would rather magnify their grievous sin – at least it should have. It magnified iniquity for the prophet of God; and God used him to warn His people.

For the people of God in 2019, those who call themselves “Christian” this word is for you today.  God truly is in our midst; He will not do iniquity, and He does not rejoice in it.  While the judgment of sin has been paid for by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross, He was buried, and He rose again; does not give you a license to sin; neither is it an excuse for sin.

It is a license to freely live for God, confessing our sin when we commit the grievous act of sin and iniquity against God (1 John 1:9).

God will judge those who refuse to accept the gift of grace through the cross of Jesus Christ.  We must never forget as a Christian, that judgment must begin at the house of God (1 Peter 4:17).

O that the Christian today; from the pulpit to the pew, the preacher to the man or woman who professes Jesus Christ as Savior of their lives to fall on their faces before God confessing, and repenting of their sins. Also crying out to see their sin as God does.  That would be the beginning of a great awakening in the Body of Christ.

Jonah’s Anger

“But it displeased Jonah exceedingly, and he was very angry. And he prayed unto the LORD, and said, ‘I pray Thee, O LORD, was not this my saying, when I was yet in my country? Therefore I fled before unto Tarshish: for I knew that Thou art a gracious God, and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repentest Thee of the evil. Therefore now, O LORD, take, I beseech Thee, my life from me; for it is better for me to die than to live.’ ” Jonah 4:1-3 (KJB)

I do not know, and yet I do know; I believe God was displeased with Jonah’s attitude; and he had to be disciplined.  I am not sure by the end of the chapter and short book that Jonah had learned about mercy and grace.

The prophet Jonah was a patriot to the nation of Israel. It was the godly nation.  It was the nation of God’s people. Here he is angry because God had mercy on a heathen people.

Let us who are saved by the grace of God through the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ; the only begotten Son of God; was buried, and He rose from the grave, always remember that God desires the whole world to know that He is the LORD God.  That is stated again and again through out Scripture.

Let us rejoice that enemies of God and our faith become our brethren, and love the Lord just as we do.  We too, were once enemies of God, and the cross of Christ (Romans 5:8-10).

Rejoice every time a soul is redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, who is Jesus Christ.

Holy Mountain

“So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, My holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more.” Joel 3:17 (KJB)

You will need to read the verses previous to verse 17, and also the verses following, to grasp the message clearly.  These are not prophetic of the Church the Body of Jesus Christ, but of Judah/Israel, and the city of Jerusalem. Read Zechariah 14.

May I have your attention? There are judgments coming on this earth to judge the sins of men and women who have turned their backs on God, His holiness, and His righteousness.  He is God.  There is no other.

The only place of repentance is at the cross of Jesus Christ where He bled and died for our sins; He was buried and carried away all our sins; then He rose from the dead – the grave – and He forever lives seated at the right hand of the Father.

One day He will return to this earth, and put an end to evil forever. I pray you will realize the evil of your own heart, mind, and life and repent, calling on the name of Jesus Christ for salvation. Do it today before it is too late.

All will know that the LORD is God. Many will realize it too late.

I Will Accept You

“I will accept you with your sweet savour, when I bring you out from the people, and gather you out of the countries wherein ye have been scattered; and I will be sanctified in you before the heathen. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for the which I lifted up Mine hand to give it to your fathers. And there shall ye remember your ways, and all your doings, wherein ye have been defiled; and ye shall lothe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed. And ye shall know that I am the LORD, when I have wrought with you for My name’s sake, not according to your wicked ways, nor according to your corrupt doings, O ye house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.” Ezekiel 20:41-44 (KJB)

“I will accept you” says the LORD. He will not accept them because of their holiness, righteousnesses, or their sacrifices. He accepts them because of His good, Holy, and Righteous Name.

Keep in mind, if you will, the one’s to whom God is speaking through the prophet are the people of Israel in captivity in Babylon. They are being promised that they will one day return to their Promised Land.  Most of these who are hearing would not. Ezekiel himself would not see his homeland again.  The nation would return. They did return.

The Lord GOD says to you today, “I will accept you, but not because of your sacrifices, not because of your holiness, righteousness; but for My own Name’s sake.”  His Name is the Name that is above every name (Philippians 2:10-11).

I am not accepted by God because of anything good in me, but because of the gift of Jesus Christ – His death on the cross, His burial, and resurrection.  He is the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Romans 1:20; Colossians 1:19; 2:9).

The Lord accepts all who will come to Him through Jesus Christ. Call on His Name.

The LORD Gives Life

“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.

Weeping

“Mine eye runneth down with rivers of water for the destruction of the daughter of my people. Mine eye trickleth down, and ceaseth not, without any intermission, till the LORD look down, and behold from heaven.” Lamentations 3:48-50 (KJB)

Jeremiah is known as being the “Weeping prophet”.  When you read his prophecy, and his laments in Lamentations you can see why he is called that.

As I read the Laments this morning I found myself weeping for the prophets pain, and his laments were just for a caring heart and soul.  He hurt for his people. He hurt because of their forsaking of God, and His way, and His word.

There are other verses which show his grieving, weeping heart.  Consider Jeremiah 4:19 and 9:1.

If I stop to think about what I have wept over I am too often ashamed of it.  What should cause me to weep?

  1. That many who call themselves Christian are departing from the worship of God our Creator through Christ Jesus;
  2. That the word of God is considered by too many as being an antiquated book no longer worthy of following, or believing;
  3. That there are many who are perishing in their sins, and are going untold of the wonderful gift of God displayed upon the cross of Jesus Christ, His burial, and resurrection;
  4. That there are too many Christians who are in a backsliden condition, away from God, and do not seem to care;
  5. That Christians seem to see no need for the local church, and are forsaking the assembling of themselves together;
  6. That we have brethren in nations which persecute them for their faith in Jesus Christ while we go without any persecution;
  7. That Jesus Christ is not exalted as He should be.

That list is not exhaustive.  If you can think of another let me know in the comments; and let us pray to draw nearer to the LORD our God and Savior Jesus Christ.

The Coming Judgment

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.

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.

Being Content

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” 1 Timothy 6:6-10 (KJB)

Covetousness is a sin, a grave sin which besets many men, women, and even children.  It is not absent from the one who is writing this post.  I find myself wanting things which I can live without; or I can find an excuse for getting just about any thing that I decide I want.

I know God’s word.  God and His word is very dear to my heart. He has given us the Ten Commandments,  and they clearly show us that we definitely need a Savior, and God has shown us pictures, types, and or shadows of our Savior throughout the Old Testament; and is fully  revealed, unveiled to us in the New Testament.

I heard a new  preacher come on the scene several years ago who, in the message he was preaching, said, “The lack of money is the root of all evil”.  That statement is clearly against the verse of God’s word above.  “Let God be true, and every man a liar” (Romans 3:4).

Covetousness is idolatry. Being Content is God’s prescription for His people. Covetousness is a transgression of God’s law.  The tenth commandment is “Thou shalt not covet…” (Exodus 20:17).

“Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry…” Colossians 3:5

The 1828 version of Webster’s Dictionary defines “Contentment” as…

CONTENTMENT, n.

  1. Content; a resting or satisfaction of mind without disquiet; acquiescence.

Contentment, without external honor, is humility.

Godliness with contentment is great gain. 1 Tim 6.

  1. Gratification.

At Paris the prince spent a day, to give his mind some contentment.”

I judge no one who is reading this. My intent is to help those who love the Lord Jesus Christ and the word to live with contentment in the life God  has given you. I am not talking about being content with a sinful lifestyle.  If you are living contrary to God and His word, I pray the Spirit of God will make you miserable until  you surrender your life to His life for you.

Contentment is great gain.  Be content with such things as you have.

  1. Start being thankful for God’s blessings in your life.
  2. Give of your blessings to others who are less fortunate than you.
  3. Also start by recognizing that it all belongs to God; and give back at least a tenth to your local church.
  4. Begin by recognizing you are not the owner of the things you possess, but rather a steward who is caring for the blessings God has given you.

Covetousness is the root of all evil.  Why do you suppose it is the last of the ten;  it is not because it is the least.

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.” Hebrews 13:5

The things of this world and the desire for them only lead to all forms of evil. Every murder, every theft, every mass shooting is the result of coveting of something that someone wants.

Be content by coming to the One who loved you so much He sent His only Son to die for our sins.  He died on the cross, was buried, and He rose again conquering sin, death, hell, and the grave.  Turn from your sin to Jesus Christ Son of the Living God, God the Living Son.

Treasure

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” 2 Corinthians 4:7  (KJB)

Gold, silver, precious stones, or metals; is that what I write of today?  There is a treasure so great that it is greater than ourselves. It is greater than houses or lands.  It is even greater than family or a multitude of friends.

I write of the presence, the power, the grace, and knowledge of God in our lives. Our greatest treasure is knowing the All-Powerful, All-present, and All-Knowing One who has created all things, and is greater than the universe itself; and that He is Immutable, and that He knows those who are His.

Our treasure is where our hearts and minds dwell; for Jesus said,

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” Matthew 6:21

I will finish this by leaving with you the commentary of Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown on 2 Corinthians 4:7…

“Lest any should say, How then is it that we continue to enjoy such unspeakable glory in a mortal body? Paul replies, this very fact is one of the most marvelous proofs of God’s power, that an earthen vessel could bear such splendor and keep such a treasure” [Chrysostom, Homilies, 8.496, A]. The treasure or “the light of the knowledge of the glory of God.” The fragile “earthen vessel” is the body, the “outward man” (2Co_4:16; compare 2Co_4:10), liable to afflictions and death. So the light in Gideon’s pitchers, the type (Jdg_7:16-20, Jdg_7:22). The ancients often kept their treasures in jars or vessels of earthenware. “There are earthen vessels which yet may be clean; whereas a golden vessel may be filthy” [Bengel].

that the excellency of the power, etc. — that the power of the ministry (the Holy Spirit), in respect to its surpassing “excellency,” exhibited in winning souls (1Co_2:4) and in sustaining us ministers, might be ascribed solely to God, we being weak as earthen vessels. God often allows the vessel to be chipped and broken, that the excellency of the treasure contained, and of the power which that treasure has, may be all His (2Co_4:10, 2Co_4:11; Joh_3:30).

may be of God … not of us — rather, as Greek, “may be God’s (may be seen and be thankfully [2Co_4:15] acknowledged to belong to God), and not (to come) from us.” The power not merely comes from God, but belongs to Him continually, and is to be ascribed to him.Him continually, and is to be ascribed to him.”

The Great Treasure is to have this treasure in these flesh and blood bodies,  and know that He has saved us, He has redeemed us, and thought this body is decaying He is being glorified in and through us.

Jesus Christ died on the cross to redeem us unto the Father, was buried, and He rose again.  Will you believe this?  Turn from your sins and to Jesus.

The Testimony of One Who Comes to Jesus

“Jesus saw Nathanael coming to Him, and saith of him,
‘Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!’
Nathanael saith unto Him, ‘Whence knowest thou me?’ Jesus answered and said unto him,
‘Before that Philip called thee, when thou wast under the fig tree, I saw thee.’
Nathanael answered and saith unto Him, ‘Rabbi, Thou art the Son of God; Thou art the King of Israel.’  Jesus answered and said unto him,
‘Because I said unto thee, I saw thee under the fig tree, believest thou? Thou shalt see greater things than these.’
And He saith unto him,
‘Verily, verily, I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.’” John 1:47-51  (KJB)

Many often do not get it.  How anyone could see Jesus for who He really is.  He is no longer dead on a cross.  He is no longer in the grave.  He is alive.  He is, in fact, more alive than He was when Nathanael said, “You are the Son of God. You are the King of Israel.”

Now, why did Nathanael make such a statement.  It was because of what Jesus said.  It was not the first statement, “Behold and Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” No! It was not that at all.  No mere man could have just seen him under the fig tree.  It is most likely that they were some distance away, and Jesus knew the heart of Nathanael.  This was a gift given to Nathanael by God.

This was in essence the revelation given by God to Nathanael to know the Son of God, and thus God the Son.

Peter’s confession of Matthew 16, when Jesus asked them, “Who do you say that I am?”, and Jesus’s answer to Peter’s confession “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God” is eye opening indeed…

“Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but My Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 16:17

The testimony of one who comes to Jesus is that He is the Christ the Son of God sent down from glory, so that the lost might be saved from the bondage of sin.  Since He is the Son of God it is also enlightening by the Spirit of God to know and understand that He is God the Son.  Nathanael saw that.  Peter saw that.  Do you see that Jesus is the Christ the Son of the Living God; and God the Living Son? If He is not God the Son, then He is not Christ; neither is He Savior.