Friday, January 18, 2019

Does God Really Love Me?

Does God Really Love Me?
John 10:14-18

In John chapter 10, Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees and Jews about being a shepherd. The term “Shepherd” has only been given to God the Father up until now but Jesus is telling them that He is the “Good Shepherd.” They didn’t understand all that He was saying to them and so He began to explain His position as the good shepherd.

Jesus makes three declarations to the crowd standing before Him. First,  He says, “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” (Here, He declares His love for His sheep.) He then tells them that He has other sheep that are not of this fold. He must bring them also, and they will listen to his voice so that there will be one flock and one shepherd. (The other sheep means you and me, Gentiles outside of Israel.) In John 10:17-18, Jesus proclaims His love once more. He speaks of the Father’s love for Him because Jesus will lay down His life that He may take it up again. No one takes it from Him, but He will lay it down of His own accord. Jesus speaks of the authority He has to lay down His life, and the authority He has to take it up again which He received from His Father.

The Jews were divided among themselves after hearing Jesus express these words. They thought He may have a demon in Him and be insane. They began to question the others by saying, “Why are you listening to Him?” Many of them said, “These are not the words of one who is oppressed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?” (This statement was referring to John 9 where Jesus healed the man born blind).

Jesus does love you! He willingly laid down His life that mankind may be saved. When we believe in His sacrificial death and miraculous resurrection and repent, we have the gracious gift of eternal life.

Lord, I know you love me.



Friday, January 11, 2019

Life is Unfair

Life is Unfair













                                            Daniel 1:1-5

How many times have we heard a little child or even an adult say, “That’s not fair?” We all have experienced things in our lives that we could say were, “not fair.” Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah all faced difficult times even though they obeyed God. They were not protected from God’s judgment upon the people of Judah and were uprooted from their homes. They were taken away from their families and removed from the way of life that they had been accustomed to living. That doesn’t seem fair! Keep in mind, just because we name the name of Christ and call ourselves a Christian, does not mean that we will be protected from unfair treatment or from the pain and consequences of another’s sin.

As a Christian, we need to understand that we can work through anything if we remember the wonderful riches of our salvation. Ephesians 1:3 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:” God has given to us, “exceeding great and precious promises: that by these we might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:3,4). The word precious means: there is nothing like them, they are utterly unequaled. We possess a precious faith based on God’s precious promises–––what more could we ask for!

When you feel like life is just not fair, please realize; God controls all the details of your life and puts all things together for your good and His glory. Are you thankful even for the things that seem seriously unfair?  Have you forgotten the riches of your salvation? This is a reminder of how great your salvation truly is even during the seemingly unfair trials of life. How tragic the consequences of life are when you have forgotten God’s unequaled promises or, have never known what true salvation really means. 


Lord, may I never forget the riches of my salvation, though life seems unfair.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Loneliness

Loneliness
Isaiah 40:28-29 KJV
Hast thou not known?... that the everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his understanding.  He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. 

God has created us as social creatures that desire fellowship with other people. We, as human beings, cannot be truly happy unless the basic need for friendship or companionship is met. Many people become extremely lonely during the holiday season leading them down the road to depression and hopelessness. The feeling of loneliness can stem from a deeper problem–––not maintaining a proper relationship with God and with other people. Some people are hurt deeply from those that can help encourage but choose not to–––leaving people feeling rejected and depressed.  

For those of you who have tried to reach out to the lonely in their time of need, but have been rejected in your attempt to encourage; love them anyway and be their friend. John 15:17 says: “These things I command you, that ye love one another.” Show genuine concern towards the friendless and rejoice in the Lord with and for them. Aim for restoration and you will be gaining a beloved friend. Bear their burdens fulfilling the whole law of Christ (Galatians 6:2) and continue to share the Great Comforter with them. He knows and understands what it means to be rejected and the pain that comes from being forsaken.He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;...” (Isaiah 53:3).

Being supportive to the people that are closest to you in their loneliness and pain is uplifting and inspiring. Communicating that you are sincerely interested in their needs having compassion on them is nurturing and kind. “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10 ESV).

Lord, help me to see those that are hurting and not be weary in well doing.



Friday, December 28, 2018

God's Peach with You

God’s Peace with You
Philippians 4:9 KJV
“Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.”

Meditating and delighting in the Word of God is a great remedy over worries, health issues, family concerns, or plain ole stressing out. Being grateful to God with inner tranquility and a thankful attitude gives a Christian confidence that the Lord is able and willing to do what is best for His children (Romans 8:28).

The peace of God has many by-products and one of these is that it will transform the thought-life of the Child of God. Meditating on the things that are true, honest, pure, lovely, things of good report, virtuous and praiseworthy is a formula for staying away from sinful thoughts that disturb the inner peace God has given through prayer. Through all of our trials and testings, our many frustrations and fears, Paul gives to us encouragement in saying: “do the things you have learned, received, seen and heard of me, and you will have God’s peace with you.” If Paul could experience the peace of God as a prisoner, how much more could the people of God be able to experience in freedom?

If you are walking by faith with the Lord and living in the peace of God, then you are obeying Him and His Word. When peace is gone and life seems overwhelming––go back to the place where the decision was made to have an anxious spirit, and where worry and doubt entered into your heart. Begin to worship, praise and thank the Lord for all He has done and continues to do in your life. This place of quiet rest is where you will find God and His peace. The key to overcoming fear, anxiety, and feelings of uncertainty is total and complete trust in God. Trusting God is a refusal to give in to fear.

Lord, may I learn to meditate on Your Word that transforms my thoughts-life and rest in Your peace.


Friday, December 21, 2018

Born a King

Born a King
Luke 1:26-33

We sing the wondrous songs of Christmas and declare that the baby born in a manger has come to be the King of Kings. The song "Joy to the World"  says, "The Lord is come, let earth receive her King." The wise men asked, "Where is he that is born King of the Jews?"  This question emphasizes the great reality of the birth of Christ, that He is in fact born a King. In the book of Revelation John says, “...for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings:” (Revelation 17:14). He is the greatest, the most supreme of all kings.
Matthew gives an account of Christ’s lineage through His father, Joseph. And in Luke, His lineage came through of his mother, Mary. Mary was a descendant of King David, through the lineage of David's son, Nathan who never reigned, but nonetheless was of royal blood. It is through Mary that Jesus is the real son of David. Christ was born of a virgin therefore, Joseph had no part in His conception. God’s seed was planted by the Holy Spirit of God in the womb of Mary. It was essential that she also be out of the line of David or He would have carried no royal blood. Joseph's line is the legal right to the throne which always comes through the father. Jesus received His royal blood through Mary and the legal right to the throne from Joseph. When people referred to Jesus as the Son of David, they meant that He was the long-awaited Messiah, the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophecies.
Every detail has been worked out for the world to see that Jesus Christ is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. His birth was supernatural and his lineage amazing. As the excitement of Christmas approaches, may we be amazed at His magnificent birth and reminded of the honor and glory fitting His name. Christmas is to be commemorated with great exuberance and rejoicing that Christ,  the “New Born King,” has come.

Lord Jesus, our King forever!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Why Hate Sin?

Why Hate Sin?
Ephesians 2:1-10

Have you ever stop to think why you hate sin? Is it because of what sin does to you after it has had its way with you? Are you attempting to remove sin or the repulsive effects of it? What do you think would happen if there were absolutely NO negative consequences to your sin? Have you passionately gripped the fantasy that joy in Christ is only found when sin is absent? 

Christians do not hold this abhorrence for sin’s destruction alone. Social justice is an attempt to reduce sin’s grip on humanity. Societies for thousands of years have taken extreme measures to reduce the full expression of sin. If you were offered a city that had a zero crime rate, the best vegetation, a clean water supply, and the most advanced medical services, would you turn it down? No!

The absence of sin is the reality of heaven. No pain, no sorrow, no tears, and the recreation of the perfect world. That means no negative aftermath of sin. This is often the way the world envisions life after death. They want all the benefits of heaven but refuse to acknowledge the Master who lives there. 

What you don’t realize is that you have been seduced into believing the same concept. Your disgust for sin is not because it distorts the beauty of Christ, but because it brings you discomfort. You are fully trapped in the cycle of self-worship and motivated by anything or anyone other than Jesus Christ. Sin's pleasure appears to be more fulfilling than the person of Christ. 

The Apostle Paul said, “I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord” (Philippians 3:8). Nothing can bring lasting fulfillment except Christ. The key that changes one’s life is the shift from pursuing freedom from the consequences of sin, to enjoying and loving the person of Jesus Christ. Sin is the only thing which God hates and yet He bore our sins for us (I Peter 2:24).


Lord, thank You for loving me.

Friday, December 7, 2018

Without Faith


Without Faith ~ John 8:12-59
Jesus is teaching in the temple during the time of the Feast of the Tabernacles (Booths) and begins to speak of Himself in saying, “I Am the Light of the World.” He is claiming to be the “I AM” from Exodus 3:13-15. Levitical law says to pick up a stone and kill Him (Leviticus 24”10-16). Jesus is connecting Himself to God the Father and tells them, “Whoever follows me will not live in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12).

For most people, the Bible has become only an instructional Manuel but we need more than instructions or an example to follow. We need someone who will rescue us from our prison of sin because we are unable to free ourselves from that sin debt. Luke 19:10 says, “For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”

John’s focus is on faith and spiritual slavery. Whoever practices sin is in slavery to sin, the sin of unbelief. “And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him”(Hebrews 11:6). “I told you that you would die in your sins, for unless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins” (John 8:24). Once one puts their faith in Jesus Christ all of sins power is broken. 

Jesus accuses the Pharisees of being children of the devil (John 8:42-47).  He tells them that the reason why they don’t hear what He is saying is because they are not of God. The Pharisees could not bring themselves to faith. Believing the lies of Satan blinds us to the truth of the Gospel (Ephesians 2:1-3). To obey the words of Christ in John 8 is to put one’s faith in Christ.  Our hope in salvation does not rest in our faithfulness but in His faithfulness alone. We are saved because Jesus saves us.


Lord, thank You for faith.