Friday, January 25, 2019

Believing by Faith

Believing by Faith
John 9 

John’s writings are straightforward in describing Jesus as deity. He was accused of breaking the Sabbath when He healed an invalid man after thirty-eight years of being bedridden. He called God his Father, making Himself equal with God. This infuriated the Jews and why they were seeking to kill Him. In John 8, He calls Himself, “The Light of the World,” and “before Abraham was, I AM.” After hearing this, the crowd picked up stones to throw at Him, but He hid and left the temple because it was not yet His time.

In John 9, Jesus passes by a man born blind. His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents… ?” “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him.” The Jews brought the man who was formerly blind to the Pharisees. (Jesus made mud and opened his eyes on the Sabbath). 

The Jews didn’t believe the man had been born blind, so they asked his parents. The parents were fearful to speak and said, “He is of age, you ask him about his blindness.” The parents didn’t want to be put out of the synagogue by the Jews for it had already been said, “if anyone confessed Jesus to be the Christ they are not allowed.” They reviled (angrily criticized) the man that once was blind and cast him out of the assembly.

Jesus heard that they had cast him out, and went to find the man to ask, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” After finding out who Jesus was, the man said, “Lord, I believe, and he worshiped him.” Jesus will die on the cross after using the phrase, “Son of Man” over 80 times and notably, He used it more than any other title. The proclamation by Jesus that He was the“Son of Man” holds great value in saying, “He is the One given everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, or be destroyed” (Daniel 7:13-14).


Lord, by faith, I believe.

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.