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.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Someone We Treasure

Someone We Treasure
Mark 12:29-31 
‘… And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’  The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.’”

Figurative definition: anything or anyone we value, love, cherish, prized, or have a deep affection for. 

Someone we treasure we treat with loving kindness holding them in the highest regard.  We show great respect to those we cherish and exhibit compassion. “She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue” (Proverbs 31:26). We are careful not to let anger overtake us, but keep our hearts with all diligence in accordance with the Word of God. “Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:31-32). 

We share the Gospel with those we hold dear and teach them about Christ and His great mercy towards us. With an unconditional love, that only our Lord can give, we show deep affection to those we highly value. “For this is the message that you have heard from the beginning, that we should love one another” (I John 3:11). Someone we treasure we remember them in their special moments, and their changing seasons of life. 

Someone we love we encourage by exalting the Savior, “Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!” (Psalm 34:3). By expounding the Scriptures, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16). And, edifying those that are of the household of faith “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).

Lord, thank You for Christ, our treasure.



Friday, November 23, 2018

A Powerful God!

A Powerful God!

Acts 12:1-12
During the reign of King Herod, and the days of Unleavened Bread, the king began to take some people prisoner who belonged to the church. He had James the brother of John killed by the sword and apprehended Peter putting him into prison. There were four quaternions of soldiers guarding him with two chains attached to two soldiers for the highest security with two guards at the door. Why so many soldiers for just one man? Herod must have been fearful of the God Peter served.

King Herod’s intentions were to bring Peter out of prison after the Passover to let the people observe his execution. But, during the night, while Peter was sleeping between two guards, an angel of the Lord came unto him. Suddenly, there was a light in the prison cell, and the angel struck Peter on the side waking him and saying to him, “Get up quickly!” Peter’s chains fell off, and the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and put your sandals on.” They passed two guards without notice and proceeded through to the iron gate which opened on its own accord. Amazing!

Peter went directly to Mary’s house, a distinguished Christian woman from the city of Jerusalem. Mary, the mother of John Mark was known for her great faith and courage during times of persecution. After Peter’s arrest, Mary held a prayer meeting in her home which must have been an enormous place to hold such a large assembly of people.

When Peter knocked at the door of the gateway to Mary’s home, a young servant girl named Rhoda came to the door. She recognized Peter’s voice and in her excitement, left Peter standing outside the gate. Rhoda ran back into the house to tell all the people that Peter was at the door. They said, “You’re out of your mind” as Peter continued to knock. Finally, they opened the door, discovering Peter was there. In shock and amazement, they realized that God had miraculously and providentially answered their prayers. What a powerful God!


Lord, thank You for prayer.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Thanksgiving

~Thanksgiving ~
I Thessalonians 5:18 KJV
In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

Well, Thanksgiving Day is almost here! Will our gratitude last beyond the afternoon nap? Is Thanksgiving—a one-time, get-it-out-of-the-way holiday that forces us to reflect on how blessed we are? Too quickly, people resort back to being ingrates and complaining about what they don’t have. God’s will for us is to be thankful for all things.  Believers, by faith, need to trust His design and sovereign will for them.

“In every thing” carries an unlimited stipulation. It refers to everything that may take place in one’s life, except, of course, personal sin. No matter what struggles or trials God will directly or indirectly allow in our lives, there is always a reason for thanking Him. I Peter 1:6-9 tells us that we are to rejoice when we have been grieved by various trials. These trials test the genuineness of our faith which is more precious than gold and results in praise, glory, and honor to our Lord Jesus Christ. Even though we don’t see Him now, we do believe in Him and we will have a joy that is inexpressible because the outcome of our faith is the salvation of our souls.

Gratitude should come naturally to believers for all that He has done for us. But, because of our hardness of heart, God encourages us to be thankful with commands that are essential and necessary. “Be careful (anxious) for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God” (Philippians 4:6). Joni Eareckson Tada, who was involved in an accident that left her paralyzed from the neck down, writes, “Giving thanks is not a matter of feeling thankful, it's a matter of obedience.” God wills our being thankful in all things because thankfulness is the ultimate expression of love. May you be filled with thankfulness for all Christ has done.


Lord, thank You for giving me the gift of eternal life.

Friday, November 9, 2018

A Royal Banquet

A Royal Banquet
Esther 1:1-9 

Now it came to pass in the days of Ahasuerus, (this is Ahasuerus which reigned, from India even unto Ethiopia, over an hundred and seven and twenty provinces:)  That in those days, when the king Ahasuerus sat on the throne of his kingdom, which was in Shushan the palace, . . .

Esther lived during the Persian period of world history. The palace in Susa was the winter residence of the king of Persia which was a fortified palace built above the city for protection. In the third year of his reign, King Ahasuerus gave a magnificent banquet inviting his princes, army officers, and nobles of the provinces surrounding him. The main theme of this banquet was to display the great riches and glory of his majesty and splendor to all his guests. 

The Persian King is referenced to 175 times or more in the book of Esther but the name of God, the mention of God or any prayer worshiping Him is never stated. We know that God’s sovereignty prevailed in saving the Jews and if He desired to be mentioned in the writing of this book, He could have moved the author to do so. Though God is not mentioned in the book of Esther, His hand is seen in the saving of the Jews. God’s character and attributes are revealed in His eternal purpose and plan for Israel whether His name is ever written down. May we never forget that God, through the merits of His reputation and character, moves in His providential care for the eternal benefit of His people. 

We have read that great riches were to be displayed in Shushan the palace in the presence of the people as an attempt to bring glory and majesty to King Ahasuerus. But we know, that there is only one King that deserves such glory and majesty. Only one King worthy of praise and worship, only one King entitled to honor, reverence, and exaltation. He is the KING, LORD GOD ALMIGHTY.


Lord, I worship You, as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.

Friday, November 2, 2018

The Exodus and the Gospels

Exodus and the Gospels


Exodus 1-40

Scripture from the book of Exodus is mentioned by Jesus in the Gospels with reference to the burning bush and in the explanation of the resurrection (Exodus 3:6; Matthew 22:29-32; Mark 12:26; and Luke 20:37). When telling the rich young ruler how to enter the kingdom of God, Christ recalls the Ten Commandments quoting Exodus 20:12-16 in Matthew 19:18-19; Mark 10:19; and Luke 18:20. Jesus was clarifying that in keeping the Law perfectly one could enter the kingdom of heaven, but as we understood scripture, it is impossible to do that.

Some of the clearest engagements of the book of Exodus are found in (John 1:1–18) and the feeding of the 5,000 (John 6). Jesus interprets that the feeding of the 5,000 is likened to the manna which Moses gave their ancestors in the wilderness (John 6:31). Manna is described to be “bread from heaven” and in the Gospel of John, Jesus himself says, “I am the bread of life...” (John 6:35) the bread coming down from heaven.

How is the story of the exodus linked to the Gospels? In the Synoptic Gospels as well as in the book of John, the Exodus narrative takes on a significant role. This role does not take away from the importance of the Exodus but is used to magnify Jesus’ as the greater Moses. The Gospels make one point extremely clear that following Jesus leads to an extraordinary salvation and it is more than what the Israelites experienced in fleeing Egyptian rule. We are unable to defeat the enemy, Satan, or conquer sin altogether. Only God can do this for us.

The Exodus Passover lamb is a foreshadowing of Christ. The prophet John the Baptist called Jesus, “the Lamb of God” (John 1:29) and (Exodus 12:5) distinctly calls for a lamb without blemish. Through His sinless life and sacrificial death, Jesus is the only One capable of giving hope of eternal life. 


Lord, thank You for Your sacrifice.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Why Did Jesus Walk on the Water?

Why Did Jesus Walk on the Water?

John 6:16-21
Introduction: The Israelites are living in the promise land but are suppressed under Roman Law. It is the time of their great celebration, the Passover, and Jesus fed over five thousand people. They are at the point of wanting to take Jesus by force to make Him king. But, because it was not His time to be made King, He withdrew to the mountain to be alone. He is not the King of this world but of the kingdom that is to come.

The children of Israel were freed from the bondage of Egypt through Moses and now are desiring to be freed again from Roman rule. Moses is seen as a unique and marvelous picture of Jesus in many ways. In his final speeches to the Israelite people, he gives a Messianic prophecy saying to them: “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him” (Deuteronomy 18:15).

John 6:16 says that when evening came, the disciples went down to the sea, to cross over to Capernaum. The waves were rough and rowing became extremely difficult. After rowing three or four miles out into the sea, Mark 6:49 says that they were frightened thinking they were seeing a ghost. Jesus said, “It is I; do not be afraid” and they immediately helped Him into the boat and were at the shore.  Interesting! When Moses led the Children of Israel out of Egypt to the Red Sea, they, too, were afraid. Moses said to them, “Fear not, stand firm, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will work for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again” (Exodus 14:13).

Why specifically did Jesus walk on the water? John wanted the reader to see that Jesus is God, the promised Messiah, the One who would fulfill the prophecy of the coming King of glory.


Lord, all praise to You, the King eternal.