Friday, March 25, 2016

Betrayed

                        Betrayed
 
                                          Psalm 41:9
Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me.

Through history we have read and seen man betray man, brother betray brother and friend betray friend. One of the most heart stirring stories written is that of the betrayal of Jesus for thirty pieces of silver by a man named, Judas Iscariot.

Matthew 26:47-49, shows Judas coming for Jesus in the garden with a great multitude of men carrying swords and strong wooden sticks to arrest Him. The sign of betrayal, a kiss, was placed upon His cheek. The word kiss means: a touch with the lips as a sign of love or reverence. Was there love or reverence for our Lord at this time? Not so! David, son of Jesse, anointed by Samuel to be King of Israel, was betrayed by King Saul. David and King Saul’s son, Jonathan were friends and it could be written that they were “of one mind” and loved each another.  David was asked often to play the harp to soothe the heart of King Saul when his soul was troubled. David went to battle for King Saul and protected him from those that would take his life. David never lifted his hand against God’s anointed, yet was betrayed by him.

What do you do when those you call “friend” have lifted their heel against you? How do you act or react when this catastrophe occurs? Our Lord was troubled in spirit and soul with Judas’ betrayal in the garden (Matthew 26:24). He knew who would betray Him yet lifted not His hand against him. This gives us an example of how Christ would have us treat those who have betrayed us or will betray us. He did nothing. He willingly allowed Judas to betray Him knowing this is the Father’s will. In these painful situations, can you do nothing knowing this is the Father’s will for you?

 
Lord, I forgive those who have betrayed me as our Lord forgave while hanging on the cross.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Satan's Target

                         Satan’s Target

                                      John 13:2 KJV
 And supper being ended, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;

The study of the mind has baffled philosophers and scientists for centuries. In the spiritual realm, our minds enter a different world altogether. Satan cannot read the human mind but he does have access to the mind. Where did Judas get the idea to betray Christ, if they were not in one accord? Satan targets our hearts and minds and attacks the areas we are weakest in. We are not to be overcome with dread or fear, but instead, we are to pray about everything with thanksgiving, making our requests known to God. His peace will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6,7).

Knowing the ways of the enemy is important and helpful to the Christian. Satan’s abilities are great and we need to be aware of his threatening reputation. His attacks are ruthless and his schemes are devious. The Devil’s name means “accuser,” because he accuses God’s people day and night before the throne of God (Revelation 12:11). One day he will no longer have access to heaven and will be cast into the lake of fire forever and ever (Revelation 20:10). Amen!

Because Satan is the enemy of God, he is called “your adversary” (I Peter 5:8). He is against the people of God and his plan is to destroy lives. In Matthew 4:3, he is called the “tempter,” and in John 8:44, he is called a “murderer” and the “father of lies.” He is compared to a “lion,” a “serpent,” and “an angel of light.” We should never underestimate the power of Satan and the names he has been given. But, in all of his names, none can compare to the name above all names, JESUS. “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;” (Philippians 2:10).

Lord, I praise You for the power in and through Your name.

Friday, March 11, 2016

The Final Hours of Our Lord

           The Final Hours of Our Lord

                                  Matthew 27:1-37

The scene, gruesome and hard to visualize. Envision the tragedy of Jesus’ face being slapped repeatedly, bruised and beaten until He was swollen beyond recognition. Many people have been accused, arrested, and convicted of crimes they were not guilty of. But, only Jesus has been falsely accused of crimes He never committed, arrested wrongfully, abused beyond recognition, and found innocent, repeatedly.

The trial of Jesus was a mockery and the Sanhedrin wanted to intimidate Pilate and make him listen to their plea. They hoped Pilate would do whatever they told him to do, but Pilate was unwilling to co-operate so readily. It was clear the charges against Jesus were false and had no foundation. Pilate took Jesus to Herod’s palace–––a short walk through the narrow streets of the city. Herod and Pilate both agreed that Jesus was no threat to Rome and all the Sanhedrin’s charges were false and their intent was only evil.

The crowd, now becoming hostile, pushes Pilate into making the decision to scourge Jesus. He knows He’s innocent and hopes for a compromise. The custom of the day was to release one prisoner from prison and Pilate proposed Jesus. The only candidate given for release that day was Barabbas, a man so vile and contemptible that Pilate thought for sure the people would never choose him. The hostile crowd persisted upon Jesus’ crucifixion. There was no stopping the scheme of the Sanhedrin. Pilate, the highest ruler in the region was unable to stop this unbelievable plea for Jesus’ crucifixion. The flogging of Jesus was only the beginning of the physical and emotional tortures He would have to endure before His death.

Though the abuse and torture of Christ is hard for us to comprehend, there is nothing that compares to the wrath of God placed upon His Son when He bore our sins on the cross. Christ‘s crucifixion, death and glorious resurrection remains to be the very essence of the gospel.


Lord Jesus, thank You for Your overwhelming sacrificial gift of eternal life.

Friday, March 4, 2016

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 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 referred to. 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 or not His name is ever written down. May we never forget that God, through the merits of His own reputation and character, moves in His providential care for the eternal benefit of His people.

We have read that great riches were displayed in Shushan the palace in the presence of the people as an attempt to bring glory and majesty to King Ahasuerus; but, 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.