The world is searching for hope, the very hope you and I as sons and daughters of God carry in us. How will they know that hope unless you and I proclaim it by the way we live and the words we speak?
We are not long for this world, and yet this world consumes our hearts, minds, and souls, we don’t dwell on eternity for we cannot see past today or fathom the depths or length of it.
When I look at the world around me, I don’t see what most people see for God keeps changing how I see things, I don’t see people of different nationalities or people of different religions, I see people, and this I know; Christ died for them as He did me, it doesn’t matter where they are born, who they are born to, what they have done or will do, what matters is Christ died for them, rose from the grave for them and is calling them to Him and we need to let them know.
There is no person beyond the grace of God, salvation, and forgiveness is for all who ask Christ to save them.
Let’s not be entangled in the things of this world, they are temporary, yes let us enjoy all God has given us, be good stewards of it but let us focus our time, talents and treasures on the things of God that have eternal meaning, while there is light let us walk in Christ so others will come to Him.
Christ will soon return and what will matter then is not what we do or did to glorify ourselves, but what we did and do to glorify Him.
God’s word says this:
“You, therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. What you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, commit to faithful men who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in the concerns of civilian life; he seeks to please the commanding officer.” 2 Timothy 2:1-4 CSB
“Besides this, since you know the time, it is already the hour for you to wake up from sleep, because now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. The night is nearly over, and the day is near; so let us discard the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us walk with decency, as in the daytime: not in carousing and drunkenness; not in sexual impurity and promiscuity; not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and don’t make plans to gratify the desires of the flesh.” Romans 13:11-14 CSB
“But the day of the Lord will come like a thief; on that day the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, the elements will burn and be dissolved, and the earth and the works on it will be disclosed. Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, it is clear what sort of people you should be in holy conduct and godliness as you wait for the day of God and hasten its coming. Because of that day, the heavens will be dissolved with fire and the elements will melt with heat. But based on his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness dwells. Therefore, dear friends, while you wait for these things, make every effort to be found without spot or blemish in his sight, at peace. Also, regard the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our dear brother Paul has written to you according to the wisdom given to him. He speaks about these things in all his letters. There are some matters that are hard to understand. The untaught and unstable will twist them to their own destruction, as they also do with the rest of the Scriptures. Therefore, dear friends, since you know this in advance, be on your guard, so that you are not led away by the error of lawless people and fall from your own stable position. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity.” 2 Peter 3:10-18 CSB
Having lived with the Corona Virus in my family and home, we have seen some of what it can and can't do.
My family and I were all together in our home, around each other day and night for 45 days straight, after my wife and son tested positive for the CV-19, add a couple more weeks before they were diagnosed, when the symptoms started.
My Doctor and health department were telling us we need to isolate them away from us , or we should go somewhere to stay until we see what happens, (I fall into the super high-risk factor because of my health and especially my lung issues.)
Well you really can't self-quarantine in a home of 5 people, my wife and I continued living as we always had, around each other and sleeping together every day and night, I never had one symptom, or did our younger son and daughter. We were not letting fear drive us, we did not leave our home though so we would not spread it to others.
We are in the hands of God and He protected us, that is the only reason I believe I never came down with the virus or our other children, and my wife and son never became worse, we prayed together for protection, and my Doctor recognizes that.
My wife and son are virus-free and none of us took any medicine, to stop or fight the virus, again none of us, (you need to understand if someone has a cold and they sneeze around me I get it, really.)
Even though we survived this some of our friends and family have not, we have lost three friends to this and have had a couple of friends lose their parents, it is heartbreaking and we have seen the destruction that this virus causes first hand, there can be no words of comfort when you cannot go see your loved ones as they wrestle with death alone because of this disease, and it happens so rapidly you barely can wrap your mind around what is happening.
There is no one size fits all for the symptoms or cure for this Virus, it affects everyone differently.
We should never sacrifice living for fear of dying, we all will die unless the Lord comes soon, isn't it time to start living?
But letting fear guide us and destroy our families and the Nation is foolish, people are smart enough to wash their hands, stay out of each other's faces and avoid contact when at all possible, basic hygiene and common sense are two of the best defenses against this virus, adults are not toddlers who need to be told what to do by any government agency, ever.
The government has said we can't protect you from this, and they can't.
It is time to let everyone return to work, with caution and common sense, and get our Nation back to work, stop the fear-mongering, and start living again.
If your a high-risk individual like myself and my family now, you can take all the precautions you can but you can't stop living, we lived by faith with the Virus in our lives and in our home and we will continue to do what we can and live by faith now.
God's word says this:
“Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.
By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was made from things that are not visible.”
“Now without faith it is impossible to please God, since the one who draws near to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him.” Hebrews 11:1, 3 , 6 CSB
Those who don't believe Jesus is God, or those who are agnostics or atheists who don’t believe in a Creator, have a tendency to say ”they see no evidence of God.”
We know better, and we can easily refute their disbelief with one simple answer;
I am the evidence!
You have a past that Christ rescued you from, whether you thought you were a good person who did all the right things and found out that you were hell-bound without Christ, for no one can earn their way into heaven, or if you were rotten, vile, rebellious and hell-bound without Christ, it doesn’t matter. Jesus Christ came to you personally, revealed Himself to you, and saved you.
The evidence is our changed lives , for we are a new creation in Christ, old things have passed away and a new life has now begun.
We should live and rejoice daily because He works in us daily still, so if someone wants evidence of Jesus Christ, tell them your story for we are the evidence the world needs to see and hear.
God did not save us so we may sit in buildings, occasionally yell Amen and raise our hands in a worship service, He saves us so others may see His love, His glory, His grace which is available to all.
If you’re not being the evidence of a saved and sanctified life, then you need to repent and start living as God called you.
We need to start today proclaiming what God has done for us, and in us, so others may see the hope of Christ and eternity and be rescued from sin and death.
God’s word says this:
“Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say, The salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have now come, because the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been thrown down. They conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; for they did not love their lives to the point of death.” Revelation 12:10-11 CSB
“You are the light of the world. A city situated on a hill cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, but rather on a lampstand, and it gives light for all who are in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:14-16 CSB
“I am sure of this, that he who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6 CSB
“Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” Nicodemus *said to Him, “How can a man be born when he is old? He cannot enter a second time into his mother’s womb and be born, can he?” Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not be amazed that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes and you hear the sound of it, but do not know where it comes from and where it is going; so is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus said to Him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered and said to him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and do not understand these things? Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know and testify of what we have seen, and you do not accept our testimony. If I told you earthly things and you do not believe, how will you believe if I tell you heavenly things? No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man. As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so, must the Son of Man be lifted up; so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him. He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.
John 3:1-21 NASB
“Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice, all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and all slander. Like newborn infants, desire the pure milk of the word, so that you may grow up into your salvation, if you have tasted that the Lord is good. As you come to him, a living stone — rejected by people but chosen and honored by God — you yourselves, as living stones, a spiritual house, are being built to be a holy priesthood to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.”
1 Peter 2:1-5 CSB
“But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law. Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit. Let us not become boastful, challenging one another, envying one another.” Galatians 5:16-26 NASB
My family is recovering from the Coronavirus, Ronda and our son Marcus have being diagnosed with it, and myself, Faith and Jeremiah, have been living with it, we have been quarentined together for about 45 days,but God's hands have protected us through this, as we are walking through the valley of the shadow of death.
I am high risk because my immune system is compromised, I have Bronchomalacia and Tracheomalacia, and Asthma on top of other issues with an autoimmune disease, which means my respiratory system is weak and I am subject to respiratory diseases and I have no immune system.
My Doctors have called every day to check on me, and do not understand why I have not contracted this horrible virus, I have told them what I have told you, it is simply the hands of God and His mercy that I and our other children are well and my wife and son are recovering with no medical treatment. They are not over it yet, and have a long road of recovery in front of them, but God's rod and staff are comforting us.
I am reminded of David’s words, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for You are with me, Your rod and Your staff they comfort me.” Psalms 23:4
We have lost friends to this virus, and friends have lost family members to this virus, but the Corona Virus is nothing new, and God was working in the lives of all of us before it became known to mankind, we can trust Him through this as we have trusted Him in the past.
Seek Him daily first, trust Him daily always, and praise and worship Him daily from a grateful heart.
God is faithful.
He sees things differently than we do, He knows the beginning and the end, and works All things for our good and His glory, we do not need to live in fear, we must simply live in faith, in Him, through Him for Him.
This will not be the last of the pestilence our world sees, there has been ravaging disease, war, famine, and death since Adam sinned against God and brought death to us all, and this is nothing compared to what is coming when God has had enough of mankind's rebellion, but glory to God the Father who sent Christ and brought redemption, salvation, abundant life and eternal life to all who believe, we can live in fear by listening to mankind or live in faith by listening to Jesus, we can't do both, I choose to listen to Jesus.
I listened to a story not too long ago about a mother who died, leaving her husband and daughter. After the funeral, the little girl asked her dad, "Daddy, why did Mother die?"
The father could not answer right away. He was struggling to find the right words. A short time later, the two were walking together when they were passed by a large truck.
As the truck came close, it cast a shadow over the two of them, and the father saw his answer.
"Do you remember asking me about Mom, and what happened to her?" The daughter nodded, yes. "Well, let me ask you a question. When that truck came by just now, did it hit us?"
The girl shook her head, No.
”But something did hit us, didn't it? Something dark?" Her eyes lit up. ”Yes, Daddy," she said, "the truck's shadow hit us."
Her dad said, "That's what happened to your mother. Death did not run over your mother. Only its shadow did. And shadows don't hurt. I don't know why it happened, but I know that she's okay."
Powerful: we know death is inescapable, unless Jesus returns before we die. One day our names will be found in the obituaries.
Even knowing this still makes it uncomfortable for us to talk about death, as a matter of fact, most people avoid talking about death, but as Christians, we should not feel uncomfortable when we talk about it, for we are passing from death to life according to Jesus.
This life here and now is a death sentence, from the moment of conception we start aging and our biological clock starts ticking down, but those who put their faith in Christ have been given eternal life through Him, and death has lost its power over us.
We should not fear life or death, for God is sovereign over them both.
I am going to the other side with Jesus passing from death into life, all of my hope, my faith, my life is in Him.
God's word says this:
“The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul; He guides me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You have anointed my head with oil; My cup overflows. Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.” Psalms 23:1-6 NASB
“On that day, when evening came, He *said to them, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they *took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him. And there *arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they *woke Him and *said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?” Mark 4:35-41 NASB
“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who hears My word, and believes Him who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life. Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, even so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for an hour is coming, in which all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come forth; those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the evil deeds to a resurrection of judgment. “I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. “If I alone testify about Myself, My testimony is not true. There is another who testifies of Me, and I know that the testimony which He gives about Me is true.” John 5:24-32 NASB
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “F OR Y OUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; W E WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:28-39 NASB
“Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. After that He appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom remain until now, but some have fallen asleep; then He appeared to James, then to all the apostles; and last of all, as to one untimely born, He appeared to me also. For I am the least of the apostles, and not fit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me did not prove vain; but I labored even more than all of them, yet not I, but the grace of God with me.
But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who are asleep. For since by a man came death, by a man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, after that those who are Christ’s at His coming, then comes the end, when He hands over the kingdom to the God and Father, when He has abolished all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign until He has put all His enemies under His feet. The last enemy that will be abolished is death. For H E HAS PUT ALL THINGS IN SUBJECTION UNDER H IS FEET. But when He says, “All things are put in subjection,” it is evident that He is excepted who put all things in subjection to Him. When all things are subjected to Him, then the Son Himself also will be subjected to the One who subjected all things to Him, so that God may be all in all.
O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 15:1-10, 20-28, 55-58 NASB
We have prayed years for revival, for God to reach the churched and the unchurched, now that He is many are complaining about how God is working things out through this global pandemic, instead of calling on God to continue to move and reach the lost, return the prodigal's and prepare our hearts for the harvest, there is complaining and anger.
Let's stop our murmuring and start praising God for all He is doing!
How easily we have forgotten because our lives are so good, how God uses our trials to work for us, not against us.
We say we trust God but have we surrendered everything to Him? We have only if we truly trust Him. Our trials will produce patience, perseverance, and mature us. Only when we fight against God and His ways we experience our impatience, turmoil, and anxiety.
God uses our trials to build character in our lives. Warren Wiersbe gives a great analogy, "God can grow a mushroom overnight, but it takes many years - and many storms - to build a mighty oak."
When we turn our hearts, our lives, everything over to God, we have changed our earthly perspective, to an eternal perspective, seeing beyond today into eternity.
Our trials are only temporary, we need to faithfully walk through them and model the faith, hope, and love that Scripture talks about, as we trust God as the authority over our lives, both here and now, but also for all eternity.
God's word says this:
“Now we have this treasure in clay jars, so that this extraordinary power may be from God and not from us. We are afflicted in every way but not crushed; we are perplexed but not in despair; we are persecuted but not abandoned; we are struck down but not destroyed. We always carry the death of Jesus in our body, so that the life of Jesus may also be displayed in our body. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’s sake, so that Jesus’s life may also be displayed in our mortal flesh. So then, death is at work in us, but life in you. And since we have the same spirit of faith in keeping with what is written, I believed, therefore I spoke, we also believe, and therefore speak. For we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you. Indeed, everything is for your benefit so that, as grace extends through more and more people, it may cause thanksgiving to increase to the glory of God. Therefore we do not give up. Even though our outer person is being destroyed, our inner person is being renewed day by day. For our momentary light affliction is producing for us an absolutely incomparable eternal weight of glory. So we do not focus on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 2 Corinthians 4:7-18
“Then He said to them, “The harvest truly is great, but the laborers are few; therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go your way; behold, I send you out as lambs among wolves.” Luke 10:2-3 CSB
“Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have also obtained access through him by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, endurance produces proven character, and proven character produces hope. This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:1-5 CSB
As Jesus spent His last days on earth before His crucifixion, He told His disciples how much He loved them, He instructed them on how to live their lives, and He reminded them that He is the vine, we are the branches, and He is the only way to get to Heaven.
Jesus told them what He was going to share with the world, His love, redemption and life, He reminded them that He chose them, they did not choose Him.
He told them they all had a purpose, He prayed for them, He prayed for us, He poured out Himself to those around Him.
Knowing what was about to take place, the scourging, the beating, the hatred that was about to be poured out on Him, He took His disciples to a room and had the Passover meal prepared for them, first He washed their dirty feet, then sat down with them and ate dinner even with Judas, who had already betrayed Him and was about to hand Him over to the Temple Police.
Jesus gave them a new command, to love one another as He has loved them, walk-in obedience, remember that not everyone will love them, as a matter of fact, they will hate you, but stay strong for the Holy Spirit is coming and He will help you, comfort you and speak of Me.’
Jesus prepared them for the rest of their lives, that is love, serving others until His last great, Jesus paid it all because we could not, but the story doesn't end there.
Read John 14-21
How about you, if this was your last week on earth what would you do?
God's word says this:
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. Every branch in me that does not produce fruit he removes, and he prunes every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce more fruit. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.
Remain in me, and I in you. Just as a branch is unable to produce fruit by itself unless it remains on the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me and I in him produces much fruit, because you can do nothing without me. If anyone does not remain in me, he is thrown aside like a branch and he withers. They gather them, throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this: that you produce much fruit and prove to be my disciples. “As the Father has loved me, I have also loved you. Remain in my love. If you keep my commands you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. “I have told you these things so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete.
“This is my command: Love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this: to lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants anymore, because a servant doesn’t know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me, but I chose you. I appointed you to go and produce fruit and that your fruit should remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he will give you. “This is what I command you: Love one another.
” If the world hates you, understand that it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own. However, because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of it, the world hates you.
Remember the word I spoke to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. But they will do all these things to you on account of my name, because they don’t know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now they have no excuse for their sin. The one who hates me also hates my Father. If I had not done the works among them that no one else has done, they would not have sin. Now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. But this happened so that the statement written in their law might be fulfilled: They hated me for no reason.
”When the Counselor comes, the one I will send to you from the Father — the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father — he will testify about me. You also will testify, because you have been with me from the beginning.” John 15:1-27 CSB
At Passover each Jewish family would put their family name around the neck of their lamb they took to the Temple to be sacrificed. They did this to make sure they received their own lamb back for the Passover dinner.
God used Pilate to write an inscription, and put it on the cross. It was written, ‘JESUS THE NAZARENE, THE KING OF THE JEWS.’
In the Latin Vulgate. “Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum” (INRI
The inscription had been in three languages — Latin, Greek, and Hebrew — transliterated from Hebrew to English. We see these words: “Y’Shua HaNatzri V’Melech HaYehudim.”
The first letters of each of these words. It spelled “YHVH,” the Tetragrammaton form of the name of God! YHVH and YHWH can be used interchangeably. When this technique of abbreviating is used, the title on the cross in the actual Hebraic script undeniably reveals the name of God. In English, the name is pronounced “Yahweh!”
Just like the Jewish family put their family name on their lamb for sacrifice at the Temple, God put His name on His Lamb for His family, which includes you and me!
Unlocking the Secrets of the Feasts by Michael Norten,
God's word says this:
“Carrying the cross by himself, he went out to what is called Place of the Skull, which in Aramaic is called Golgotha. There they crucified him and two others with him, one on either side, with Jesus in the middle. Pilate also had a sign made and put on the cross. It said: J ESUS OF N AZARETH, THE K ING OF THE J EWS. Many of the Jews read this sign, because the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, Latin, and Greek. So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Don’t write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that he said, ‘I am the King of the Jews.’” Pilate replied, “What I have written, I have written.” John 19:17-22 CSB
Most people that follow Jesus today do so as they follow others on social media, there is no intimate relationship it is mostly superficial.
They like most of the things Jesus says until it applies to them, then they dislike His words.
Jesus doesn't care about how many followers He has, He looks at the heart, He sees what is going on and He says ”if you love me you will obey me”
When Jesus talked about eating of His body and drinking of His blood many misunderstood Him and they stopped following Him, Jesus asked the twelve disciples: ”You don’t want to go away too, do you?”
It is a sad state of artificial discipleship our churches are in, we may be filling seats, but we are only tickling ears, not stirring hearts.
It's not the Gospels fault for the gospel never changes, it is because we are not calling upon the Holy Spirit to move people's hearts, this is why baptism is down in most churches, look you and I know we can't save anyone, we can't change one person's heart or open their eyes, only God can.
It is time we cry out, repent of trying to do this on our own in our power and pray the Holy Spirit to move in our lives and those around us freely, only then will He have free reign in our lives.
Jesus loves us, not human love but Godly love, beyond our understanding, but not beyond our reach, He is calling deny yourself, confess and repent to Him, call on Him to save you from sin and death, as Lord and Savior.
Read John 3 and ask Him to reveal Himself to you today.
Let's stop following Jesus socially, get back to the work of the Church alongside the Holy Spirit, let's see God work in our lives as He saves those around us in biblical proportions.
God's word says this;
“Truly I tell you, anyone who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that anyone may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever. The bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
At that, the Jews argued among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life in yourselves. The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day because my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven; it is not like the manna your ancestors ate — and they died. The one who eats this bread will live forever.” He said these things while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
Therefore, when many of his disciples heard this, they said, “This teaching is hard. Who can accept it?” Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were complaining about this, asked them, “Does this offend you?
Then what if you were to observe the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? The Spirit is the one who gives life. The flesh doesn’t help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. But there are some among you who don’t believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning those who did not believe and the one who would betray him.) He said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted to him by the Father.”
From that moment many of his disciples turned back and no longer accompanied him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “You don’t want to go away too, do you?”
Simon Peter answered, “Lord, to whom will we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” John 6:47-69 CSB
“I have told you these things to keep you from stumbling. They will ban you from the synagogues. In fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering service to God. They will do these things because they haven’t known the Father or me. But I have told you these things so that when their time comes you will remember I told them to you. I didn’t tell you these things from the beginning, because I was with you. But now I am going away to him who sent me, and not one of you asks me, ‘Where are you going?’ Yet, because I have spoken these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. Nevertheless, I am telling you the truth. It is for your benefit that I go away, because if I don’t go away the Counselor will not come to you. If I go, I will send him to you. When he comes, he will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment: About sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; and about judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged. “I still have many things to tell you, but you can’t bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth. For he will not speak on his own, but he will speak whatever he hears. He will also declare to you what is to come. He will glorify me, because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you. Everything the Father has is mine. This is why I told you that he takes from what is mine and will declare it to you.”John 16:1-15 CSB
“When the day of Pentecost had arrived, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like that of a violent rushing wind came from heaven, and it filled the whole house where they were staying. They saw tongues like flames of fire that separated and rested on each one of them. Then they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in different tongues, as the Spirit enabled them. Now there were Jews staying in Jerusalem, devout people from every nation under heaven. When this sound occurred, a crowd came together and was confused because each one heard them speaking in his own language.
They were astounded and amazed, saying, “Look, aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? How is it that each of us can hear them in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites; those who live in Mesopotamia, in Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome (both Jews and converts), Cretans and Arabs — we hear them declaring the magnificent acts of God in our own tongues.” They were all astounded and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But some sneered and said, “They’re drunk on new wine.” Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and proclaimed to them: “Fellow Jews and all you residents of Jerusalem, let me explain this to you and pay attention to my words. For these people are not drunk, as you suppose, since it’s only nine in the morning.
On the contrary, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: And it will be in the last days, says God, that I will pour out my Spirit on all people; then your sons and your daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, and your old men will dream dreams. I will even pour out my Spirit on my servants in those days, both men and women and they will prophesy. I will display wonders in the heaven above and signs on the earth below: blood and fire and a cloud of smoke. The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the great and glorious day of the Lord comes. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. “Fellow Israelites, listen to these words: This Jesus of Nazareth was a man attested to you by God with miracles, wonders, and signs that God did among you through him, just as you yourselves know. Though he was delivered up according to God’s determined plan and foreknowledge, you used lawless people to nail him to a cross and kill him. God raised him up, ending the pains of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by death. For David says of him: I saw the Lord ever before me; because he is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices. Moreover, my flesh will rest in hope, because you will not abandon me in Hades or allow your holy one to see decay. You have revealed the paths of life to me; you will fill me with gladness in your presence. “Brothers and sisters, I can confidently speak to you about the patriarch David: He is both dead and buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Since he was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn an oath to him to seat one of his descendants on his throne. Seeing what was to come, he spoke concerning the resurrection of the Messiah: He was not abandoned in Hades, and his flesh did not experience decay. “God has raised this Jesus; we are all witnesses of this.
Therefore, since he has been exalted to the right hand of God and has received from the Father the promised Holy Spirit, he has poured out what you both see and hear. For it was not David who ascended into the heavens, but he himself says: The Lord declared to my Lord, ‘Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.’
“Therefore let all the house of Israel know with certainty that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Messiah.” When they heard this, they were pierced to the heart and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles: “Brothers, what should we do?” Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, each of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children, and for all who are far off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” With many other words he testified and strongly urged them, saying, “Be saved from this corrupt generation!” So those who accepted his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand people were added to them.
They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the fellowship, to the breaking of bread, and to prayer. Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and signs were being performed through the apostles. Now all the believers were together and held all things in common. They sold their possessions and property and distributed the proceeds to all, as any had need. Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with joyful and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. Every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.” Acts 2:1-47 CSB
Fear, confusion, anxiety, and doubt are not caused by the Lord in our daily walk.
These are weapons of our enemy. These weapons are used to immobilize us with surgical preciseness. The enemy pierces the inner solace of our minds to disarm us in the battlefield of our minds.
As children of God, we are not alone in this battle. God has given us the Holy Spirit, He is our helper, our teacher, our comfort in this battle.
We must call upon Him for wisdom, discernment, and help. Just as a soldier would not go into battle without their leaders, we must not go into our day without the help of the Holy Spirit, for each day is a spiritual battle.
When is the last time you called upon the Holy Spirit for courage, for strength, for peace, for wisdom?
This should be part of our prayer every morning before we get out of bed, to call on His help and protection.
This is an exclamation point in our lives.
If God is for us, who can be against us, we are more than conquerors, who shall we fear for nothing will separate us from God's eternal love!
Boom! Now live without fear!
God's word says this:
“I will not leave you as orphans; I am coming to you. In a little while the world will no longer see me, but you will see me. Because I live, you will live too. On that day you will know that I am in my Father, you are in me, and I am in you. The one who has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. And the one who loves me will be loved by my Father. I also will love him and will reveal myself to him.” Judas (not Iscariot) said to him, “Lord, how is it you’re going to reveal yourself to us and not to the world?” Jesus answered, “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. The one who doesn’t love me will not keep my words. The word that you hear is not mine but is from the Father who sent me. “I have spoken these things to you while I remain with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and remind you of everything I have told you. “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Don’t let your heart be troubled or fearful. You have heard me tell you, ‘I am going away and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. I have told you now before it happens so that when it does happen you may believe. I will not talk with you much longer, because the ruler of the world is coming. He has no power over me. On the contrary, so that the world may know that I love the Father, I do as the Father commanded me. “Get up; let’s leave this place.” John 14:18-31 CSB
“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus, because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. What the law could not do since it was weakened by the flesh, God did. He condemned sin in the flesh by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh as a sin offering, in order that the law’s requirement would be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. For those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their minds set on the things of the Spirit. Now the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace. The mind-set of the flesh is hostile to God because it does not submit to God’s law. Indeed, it is unable to do so. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. If anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to him. Now if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then he who raised Christ from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through his Spirit who lives in you. So then, brothers and sisters, we are not obligated to the flesh to live according to the flesh, because if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. Instead, you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!” The Spirit himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children, also heirs — heirs of God and coheirs with Christ — if indeed we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him.
What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He did not even spare his own Son but offered him up for us all. How will he not also with him grant us everything? Who can bring an accusation against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies. Who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is the one who died, but even more, has been raised; he also is at the right hand of God and intercedes for us. Who can separate us from the love of Christ? Can affliction or distress or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: Because of you we are being put to death all day long; we are counted as sheep to be slaughtered. No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:1-17, 31-39 CSB
We should only worry about what we cannot pray about, we are told to pray about everything, by doing this we should worry about nothing.
Today as you turn your worries into prayers?
Here are 5 things to expect from God.
1) God's peace will fill your heart and mind.
2) God's joy will fill your heart and soul.
3) Your fellowship with God will go deeper.
4) Your chains will break and you will walk in freedom.
5) Your stress and anxiety will go down as your prayers go up
Daily we either react in our flesh or respond in our faith to things around us.
We need to trust that God is in control always and respond in faith, by prayer in obedience.
Where are you today?
Where do you need to surrender to God and walk by faith?
Where do you need to start in prayer?
God's word says this:
“When Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him. Just then, a man named Jairus came. He was a leader of the synagogue. He fell down at Jesus’s feet and pleaded with him to come to his house, because he had an only daughter about twelve years old, and she was dying.
While he was going, the crowds were nearly crushing him. A woman suffering from bleeding for twelve years, who had spent all she had on doctors and yet could not be healed by any, approached from behind and touched the end of his robe. Instantly her bleeding stopped.
“Who touched me?” Jesus asked.
When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the crowds are hemming you in and pressing against you.” “Someone did touch me,” said Jesus. “I know that power has gone out from me.”
When the woman saw that she was discovered, she came trembling and fell down before him. In the presence of all the people, she declared the reason she had touched him and how she was instantly healed.
”Daughter,” he said to her, “your faith has saved you. Go in peace.” While he was still speaking, someone came from the synagogue leader’s house and said, “Your daughter is dead.
Don’t bother the teacher anymore.” When Jesus heard it, he answered him, “Don’t be afraid. Only believe, and she will be saved.” After he came to the house, he let no one enter with him except Peter, John, James, and the child’s father and mother. Everyone was crying and mourning for her.
But he said, “Stop crying, because she is not dead but asleep.” They laughed at him, because they knew she was dead. So he took her by the hand and called out, “Child, get up!” Her spirit returned, and she got up at once. Then he gave orders that she be given something to eat. Her parents were astounded, but he instructed them to tell no one what had happened.” Luke 8:40-56 CSB
“Early in the morning, as they were passing by, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up.
Then Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” Jesus replied to them, “Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him.
Therefore I tell you, everything you pray and ask for — believe that you have received it and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven will also forgive you your wrongdoing.” Mark 11:20-25 CSB
“Now he told them a parable on the need for them to pray always and not give up.
”There was a judge in a certain town who didn’t fear God or respect people. And a widow in that town kept coming to him, saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ ”For a while he was unwilling, but later he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or respect people, yet because this widow keeps pestering me, I will give her justice, so that she doesn’t wear me out by her persistent coming.’”
Then the Lord said, “Listen to what the unjust judge says. Will not God grant justice to his elect who cry out to him day and night? Will he delay helping them? I tell you that he will swiftly grant them justice. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?” Luke 18:1-8 CSB
This is not a time to fear, this is a time to seek the Lord and trust His providence now is the time to live your faith.
We should only worry about the people and things we can't pray about.
Worry is simply our failure to trust God. It’s been said that worry is the advanced interest you pay on troubles that seldom come.
The word worry comes from an old German term that means “to strangle. That’s what worry does, it strangles us.
Stop let letting the worries of life strangle you. God's word says to pray about everything, and rejoice in Christ, dwell on Him then we will have peace.
What are we not willing to trust God with, before you answer, write down what you’re worried about, then ask God to forgive you and take that burden from you, and fill you with His peace and joy.
Walking in freedom in Christ means surrendering everything to Him, daily.
God’s word says this:
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your graciousness be known to everyone.
The Lord is near. Don’t worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable — if there is any moral excellence and if there is anything praiseworthy — dwell on these things.
Do what you have learned and received and heard from me, and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:4-9 CSB
“There is an occasion for everything, and a time for every activity under heaven: a time to give birth and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to uproot; a time to kill and a time to heal; a time to tear down and a time to build; a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn and a time to dance; a time to throw stones and a time to gather stones; a time to embrace and a time to avoid embracing; a time to search and a time to count as lost; a time to keep and a time to throw away; a time to tear and a time to sew; a time to be silent and a time to speak; a time to love and a time to hate; a time for war and a time for peace.
What does the worker gain from his struggles?
I have seen the task that God has given the children of Adam to keep them occupied.
He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also put eternity in their hearts, but no one can discover the work God has done from beginning to end.
I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and enjoy the good life. It is also the gift of God whenever anyone eats, drinks, and enjoys all his efforts. I know that everything God does will last forever; there is no adding to it or taking from it. God works so that people will be in awe of him.
Whatever is, has already been, and whatever will be, already is. However, God seeks justice for the persecuted.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-15 CSB
“And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, then he who raised Christ from the dead will also bring your mortal bodies to life through his Spirit who lives in you.
So then, brothers and sisters, we are not obligated to the flesh to live according to the flesh, because if you live according to the flesh, you are going to die. But if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all those led by God’s Spirit are God’s sons.
For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear. Instead, you received the Spirit of adoption, by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father!”
The Spirit himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children, also heirs — heirs of God and coheirs with Christ — if indeed we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us. For the creation eagerly waits with anticipation for God’s sons to be revealed.
For the creation was subjected to futility — not willingly, but because of him who subjected it — in the hope that the creation itself will also be set free from the bondage to decay into the glorious freedom of God’s children.
For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together with labor pains until now. Not only that, but we ourselves who have the Spirit as the firstfruits — we also groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. Now in this hope we were saved, but hope that is seen is not hope, because who hopes for what he sees? Now if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with patience. In the same way the Spirit also helps us in our weakness, because we do not know what to pray for as we should, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with unspoken groanings. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because he intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:11-27 CSB
When is the last time we took a faith inventory, in every area of our life?
What were the results?
If you never have, now would be a good time to do so, and ask yourself, am I faithful in all these areas to trust God?
Do we have faith that God is sovereign over every area?
Our personal life?
Our marriage, us and our spouse?
Our social status?
The lives of all those around us?
Is He just the God of eternal life or is He the God of everyday life?
You see we say we have faith in God, but then we live like we don't.
We live faithlessly and fearfully of people, things and life.
When God says we should live faithful, fearless lives by trusting in Him.
We each need to ask ourselves daily;
Is Jesus really enough, for us?
Will He ever be enough?
God's word says this:
“Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, To those who have received a faith of the same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord; seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust.
Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence, and in your moral excellence, knowledge, and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, perseverance, and in your perseverance, godliness, and in your godliness, brotherly kindness, and in your brotherly kindness, love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they render you neither useless nor unfruitful in the true knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For he who lacks these qualities is blind or short-sighted, having forgotten his purification from his former sins. Therefore, brethren, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you; for as long as you practice these things, you will never stumble; for in this way the entrance into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly supplied to you.” 2 Peter 1:1-11 NASB
“For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for the sake of you Gentiles— if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of God’s grace which was given to me for you; that by revelation there was made known to me the mystery, as I wrote before in brief.
By referring to this, when you read you can understand my insight into the mystery of Christ, which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit; to be specific, that the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow members of the body, and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel, of which I was made a minister, according to the gift of God’s grace which was given to me according to the working of His power.
To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ, and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things; so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places. This was in accordance with the eternal purpose which He carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we have boldness and confident access through faith in Him.
Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory. For this reason, I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled up to all the fullness of God. Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.” Ephesians 3:1-21 NASB
“For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God, who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was granted us in Christ Jesus from all eternity, but now has been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle and a teacher.”
“For this reason I also suffer these things, but I am not ashamed; for I know whom I have believed and I am convinced that He is able to guard what I have entrusted to Him until that day. Retain the standard of sound words which you have heard from me, in the faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. Guard, through the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, the treasure which has been entrusted to you.” 2 Timothy 1:6-14 NASB
When someone hurts us or betrays us we need to let go of those hurts and betrayals and give them to Christ, we are not able to undo what has been done, we can only forgive and move on, and to truly forgive we need help from Jesus.
Holding onto the hurt and pain is like being shipped wrecked and grabbing the anchor and trying to float, it’s only going to take us down and drown us in pity and bitterness.
We need to forgive and forget what others have done to us as Christ has done for us.
Bitterness, anger, and hatred are all signs of our sinful nature, they show our lack of faith in trusting God in all things.
The root of bitterness is poison, it will destroy you spiritually, emotionally and physically, it grows in the depths of our own depravity, we want justice and vengeance for those who have wronged us, never taking into account our own wrongdoing.
We daily betray God's love, God's grace, God's mercy, God's righteousness, God's way when we sin against Him, by living in unforgiveness, bitterness, and anger, because they all point to self-righteousness, and yet He forgives us.
None of us are perfect, none of us are righteous, none of us are without sin, none of us deserve mercy, none of us deserve forgiveness, none of us deserve grace, but God makes all of these available to us through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.
Don't you think we could lay aside all malice towards others, as Christ has done for us?
God's word says this:
“Then Peter came and said to Him, “Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?” Jesus *said to him, “I do not say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.
“For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he had begun to settle them, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him. But since he did not have the means to repay, his lord commanded him to be sold, along with his wife and children and all that he had, and repayment to be made.
So the slave fell to the ground and prostrated himself before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you everything.’ And the lord of that slave felt compassion and released him and forgave him the debt. But that slave went out and found one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and he seized him and began to choke him, saying, ‘Pay back what you owe.’ So his fellow slave fell to the ground and began to plead with him, saying, ‘Have patience with me and I will repay you.’ But he was unwilling and went and threw him in prison until he should pay back what was owed.
So when his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were deeply grieved and came and reported to their lord all that had happened. Then summoning him, his lord *said to him, ‘You wicked slave, I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not also have had mercy on your fellow slave, in the same way that I had mercy on you?’ And his lord, moved with anger, handed him over to the torturers until he should repay all that was owed him. My heavenly Father will also do the same to you, if each of you does not forgive his brother from your heart.”Matthew 18:21-35 NASB
“Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.
Therefore it says, “WHEN HE ASCENDED ON HIGH, HE LED CAPTIVE A HOST OF CAPTIVES, AND HE GAVE GIFTS TO MEN.” (Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.)
And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ. As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love. So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. But you did not learn Christ in this way, if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus, that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit, and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind, and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.
Therefore, laying aside falsehood, SPEAK TRUTH EACH ONE of you WITH HIS NEIGHBOR, for we are members of one another. BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.
He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need. Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear. Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
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, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.”Ephesians 4:1-32 NASB
When we are beaten down we are tempted to turn away from God, give up, and stop trusting Him, but this is the time to turn to Him and let Him shine in our lives.
When our situation seems hopeless, we need to determine in our hearts that no matter how bad things become, we will continue to pray, seek God and trust Him.
God hears our cries, our prayers, the Holy Spirit even prays for us when we can't, know this God will deliver us.
Never let hopelessness set in, our hope should be in Christ alone, only a life without Christ is hopeless, for it is dark and void.
The world needs hope, hope is a life living forward to an eternity with Christ an abundant life now and forever, a life worth living.
A life without hope is a life that's lost its way, a life filled with hope knows the way, one follows the world, one follows the word.
Which are you?
When others reject us, we need the Lord, when others turn on us, we need the Lord when life is overwhelming we need the Lord, more than this we need the Lord when life is good, when others praise us we need the Lord, both now and forever, we need the Lord.
We can listen to the enemy as he tells us our life is a mess, or we can listen to Jesus as He tells us our life is a message.
Don't lose hope, instead learn to live in the hope that is found in Christ Jesus, whatever happens, wherever we go, we will always have hope and the promise of God, that He will never leave us or forsake us.
God's word says this:
“Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.” Then Moses called to Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall go with this people into the land which the LORD has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall give it to them as an inheritance. The LORD is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”Deuteronomy 31:6-8 NASB
“Then Nebuchadnezzar in rage and anger gave orders to bring Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego; then these men were brought before the king. Nebuchadnezzar responded and said to them, “Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? Now if you are ready, at the moment you hear the sound of the horn, flute, lyre, trigon, psaltery and bagpipe and all kinds of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, very well. But if you do not worship, you will immediately be cast into the midst of a furnace of blazing fire; and what god is there who can deliver you out of my hands?” Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.” Then Nebuchadnezzar was filled with wrath, and his facial expression was altered toward Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. He answered by giving orders to heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. He commanded certain valiant warriors who were in his army to tie up Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego in order to cast them into the furnace of blazing fire. Then these men were tied up in their trousers, their coats, their caps and their other clothes, and were cast into the midst of the furnace of blazing fire. For this reason, because the king’s command was urgent and the furnace had been made extremely hot, the flame of the fire slew those men who carried up Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego. But these three men, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, fell into the midst of the furnace of blazing fire still tied up. Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astounded and stood up in haste; he said to his high officials, “Was it not three men we cast bound into the midst of the fire?” They replied to the king, “Certainly, O king.” He said, “Look! I see four men loosed and walking about in the midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods!” Then Nebuchadnezzar came near to the door of the furnace of blazing fire; he responded and said, “Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego, come out, you servants of the Most High God, and come here!” Then Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego came out of the midst of the fire. The satraps, the prefects, the governors and the king’s high officials gathered around and saw in regard to these men that the fire had no effect on the bodies of these men nor was the hair of their head singed, nor were their trousers damaged, nor had the smell of fire even come upon them.” Daniel 3:13-27 NASB
“Give ear to my prayer, O God; And do not hide Yourself from my supplication. Give heed to me and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and am surely distracted, Because of the voice of the enemy, Because of the pressure of the wicked; For they bring down trouble upon me And in anger they bear a grudge against me. My heart is in anguish within me, And the terrors of death have fallen upon me. Fear and trembling come upon me, And horror has overwhelmed me. I said, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest. Behold, I would wander far away, I would lodge in the wilderness. Selah. I would hasten to my place of refuge From the stormy wind and tempest.” Confuse, O Lord, divide their tongues, For I have seen violence and strife in the city. Day and night they go around her upon her walls, And iniquity and mischief are in her midst. Destruction is in her midst; Oppression and deceit do not depart from her streets. For it is not an enemy who reproaches me, Then I could bear it; Nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me, Then I could hide myself from him. But it is you, a man my equal, My companion and my familiar friend; We who had sweet fellowship together Walked in the house of God in the throng. Let death come deceitfully upon them; Let them go down alive to Sheol, For evil is in their dwelling, in their midst. As for me, I shall call upon God, And the LORD will save me. Evening and morning and at noon, I will complain and murmur, And He will hear my voice. He will redeem my soul in peace from the battle which is against me, For they are many who strive with me. God will hear and answer them— Even the one who sits enthroned from of old— Selah. With whom there is no change, And who do not fear God. He has put forth his hands against those who were at peace with him; He has violated his covenant. His speech was smoother than butter, But his heart was war; His words were softer than oil, Yet they were drawn swords. Cast your burden upon the LORD and He will sustain you; He will never allow the righteous to be shaken. But You, O God, will bring them down to the pit of destruction; Men of bloodshed and deceit will not live out half their days. But I will trust in You.” Psalms 55:1-23 NASB
“But Jesus *said to him, “Follow Me, and allow the dead to bury their own dead.” When He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being covered with the waves; but Jesus Himself was asleep. And they came to Him and woke Him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” He *said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea, and it became perfectly calm. The men were amazed, and said, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” Matthew 8:22-27 NASB
“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “F OR Y OUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; W E WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:31-39 NASB
God ask us to give willingly to Him, to build His kingdom. He ask that our hearts be in our giving and serving, the widows mite reminds us, that God doesn’t care about the amount as much as He cares about the condition of our heart.
One such story that has been passed down over the years is how God took the 57 cents of a young child, and changed the world through building a University.
Hattie May Wiatt, a six-year-old girl, lived near Grace Baptist Church in Philadelphia, USA. The Sunday school was very crowded. Russell H. Conwell, the minister, told her that one day they would have buildings big enough to allow everyone to attend. She said, ‘I hope you will. It is so crowded I am afraid to go there alone.’ He replied, ‘When we get the money we will construct one large enough to get all the children in.’
Two years later, in 1886, Hattie May died. After the funeral Hattie’s mother gave the minister a little bag they had found under their daughter’s pillow containing 57 cents in change that she had saved up. Alongside it was a note in her handwriting: ‘To help build bigger so that more children can go to Sunday school.’
The minister changed all the money into pennies and offered each one for sale. He received $250 – and 54 of the cents were given back. The $250 was itself changed into pennies and sold by the newly formed ‘Wiatt Mite Society’. In this way, her 57 cents kept on multiplying.
Twenty-six years later, in a talk entitled, ‘The history of the 57 cents’, the minister explained the results of her 57-cent donation: a church with a membership of over 5,600 people, a hospital where tens of thousands of people had been treated, 80,000 young people going through university, 2,000 people going out to preach the gospel – all this happened ‘because Hattie May Wiatt invested her 57 cents’.
The theme of multiplication runs throughout the Bible. What cannot be achieved by addition, God does by multiplication. You reap what you sow, only many times more. What you give to the Lord, he multiplies.
God is the one who multiplied what Hattie May gave, she gave all she had out of love for God and love for others with a willing heart and attitude to be used by God.
Are we giving all we have to God? Our time, talents and treasure? God is searching for those who love Him and others, and are willing to give their all.
Let’s stop saying see what I did for God, and start saying look at what God is doing for us.
God’s word says this:
“But an hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:23-24 NASB
“After He called the crowd to Him again, He began saying to them, “Listen to Me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man. [ If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.” ] When he had left the crowd and entered the house, His disciples questioned Him about the parable. And He *said to them, “Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?” ( Thus He declared all foods clean.) And He was saying, “That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.” Mark 7:14-23 NASB
“And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums. A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, “Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on.” Mark 12:41-44 NASB
Hattie May Wiatt illustration from Sermon by Russell H Conwell ‘The History of Fifty-Seven Cents’, Sunday morning, December 1, 1912.
Band Of Brothers