JOHN 13.18-19, PART OF VERSE 26 NOW I TELL YOU BEFORE IT COMES, THAT WHEN IT DOES COME TO PASS, YOU MAY BELIEVE THAT I AM HE

25Aug

John 13:18 "I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, 'He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.' 19 "Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He. 20 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me."

 

In this section of Scripture we see Jesus pointing out that Judas is the one who will betray Him and that He is telling this so they will believe He is the I AM God of the Old Testament who has come in the flesh.  He also tells them that it will fulfill the Scriptures to show how accurate they are and that all that is said in them is true and will come true if it is a future prediction.  Jesus fulfilled over 300 prophecies when He came the first time and will fulfill at least that many when He comes again.  If you haven’t believed on Him, the question is why not?  Who fulfilled prophecies and done as many great signs that show He is God? No one, so believe on Him today and be saved.  Sorry this message got messed up and only part of it is here from verses 18-19 and then part of verse 26.  I will try to replace it with a full message when I preach it again.

We have seen the divine origin of the betrayal.

Now we see the declaration of it

 19 "Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He.

He' is in italics; it's not there in the original. "That ye may believe that I am." 'I am' is whose name? God's name. Jesus says, "I want you to know that I am God."

That I Am GOD

 20 "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me."

While Jesus is indirectly exposing Judas as an unbeliever here, His emphasis is on believing, believing in Him. This is the thrust of verse 20.

This seems at first to be disconnected, but I'll try to connect it for you at best I can. He continues to declare this betrayal by saying, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He whom receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth Me. And He that receiveth Me receiveth Him who sent Me." You say, "What's that doing in there?" And, initially, it doesn't seem to fit. It seems like it's pulled out of some other chapter or something. But it fits. Oh, it fits beautifully. We don't know what went on in the gap between verses nineteen and twenty. But you could imagine that when the disciples would have known about the betrayal, they would have all said, "Oh, man! That's the end of the whole show. I mean, one lousy disciple blew the whole deal. Jesus goes to the cross. The whole thing's going to fall apart." And so, what Jesus is saying here is this: "No matter what happens, men, that doesn't lower your commission. No matter what happens, betrayal or no betrayal, hypocrite or not, no matter what happens, it doesn't lower your commission one whit. Not at all." The Lord has been teaching them to humble themselves in the manner He illustrated by washing their feet. The Lord has been teaching them that they are to preach the Gospel. And when they see the apostasy of the betrayer, they may begin to think, "Well, maybe our commission is over with. Maybe our work has ceased. Maybe it's all done now." And so Christ is saying, "Not so. Nothing changes. You are still my representatives. Though there's a traitor among you, that doesn't lower your high calling. That doesn't reduce your commission. The treachery of Judas must never lower your estimate of Apostolic responsibility."

Just because it's going to be diffi­cult and just because there's going to be opposition doesn't lower your calling one whit. Nor your commission. These disciples were still Christ's ambassadors in the world. And this verse says that "When I send you brother, you represent Me and God in this world." And that's as high as you can get. But did you notice that the verse has a general content, way beyond the disciples. It uses the word 'whomsoever.' "Whomsoever I send." You know that that refers to you and me, ambassadors of Jesus Christ in every age? When you move out into this world, Christian friend, you represent Jesus Christ. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:20, Now then, we are ambassadors for Jesus Christ, and we beg you in Christ's stead. Be reconciled to God." Do you know that when we go out and ask men to come to Jesus Christ, we are doing it in the place of Jesus Christ? We're his ambassadors, his representatives. When a man rejects your witness, he rejects Jesus and he rejects God. You as a Christian absolutely represent Christ. In Galatians 4:14, the apostle Paul says this, "You received me as an angel of God even as Christ Jesus." And that's the way everybody ought to receive a believer. When you walk into a situation, my friend, you are there in the place of Jesus Christ. That's how high your calling is. And whoever in this world receives you, receives Christ and God Himself. And whoever refuses you rejects Christ and rejects God. That's how strategically important you are.

 21 When Jesus had said these things, He was troubled in spirit, and testified and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, one of you will betray Me."

This is the third time in John’s Gospel that Jesus has been described as being “greatly distressed.” He was “intensely moved in spirit and greatly distressed” at the burial site of Lazarus (John 11:33). Later on, in chapter 12, the soul of our Lord was greatly distressed at the prospect of His coming “hour” of suffering the penalty for man’s sin (12:27). Now, our Lord is greatly distressed at the thought of one of His own followers betraying Him (13:21). As I read the text, our Lord’s distress is not self-centered; He is distressed over the spiritual condition, conduct, and destiny of one of His own.

Joh 11:33 ¶ Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled.

 Joh 12:27 ¶ "Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? 'Father, save Me from this hour'? But for this purpose I came to this hour.

Jesus was greatly distressed over the destiny of Judas. Is this not an example of what Jesus Himself had taught?

Matthew 5:43-48 43 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor’ and ‘hate your enemy.’ 44 But I say to you, love your enemy and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be like your Father in heaven, since he causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? The tax collectors do that too, don’t they? 47 And if you only greet your brothers, what more do you do? The Gentiles do that too, don’t they? 48 So then, you be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (

While Jesus is said to be distressed three times in John, this term is also used by our Lord when instructing His disciples not to be distressed (John 14:1, 27). How can Jesus tell His disciples not to be distressed, when He is? In the case of our Lord, He is distressed in spirit (11:33; 13:21) and in His soul (12:27). His disciples are told not to be distressed in heart (14:1, 27). This forbidden distress seems to be that of unbelief (14:1) resulting in fear and the loss of courage (14:27).

You could probably list twenty-five things that troubled Him. Here's a few: He was troubled because of the unrequited love of Judas; He was troubled because of the ingratitude in Judas' heart; He was troubled because He had a deep hatred of sin and it was sitting right next to Him, sin incarnate; He was troubled because He was shrinking about from contact with the one about to betray Him; He was troubled because He knew of the eternal destiny in Hell; He was troubled because He could see with His omnipotent eye Satan moving around Judas; he was troubled because He had a knowledge of the sin of the betrayer and the terrors of his eternal punishment; He was troubled because He sensed all that sin and death meant; He was troubled because He had an inner awareness that Judas was a classic illustration of the wretchedness of sin, sin which He would have to bear in His own body on the next day, sin for which He would be made responsible, and would die for. He was troubled. He was in deep sorrow.

You remember at the tomb of Lazarus, as He thought about sin and death, He groaned in His inner man. He's in deep sorrow later in the garden of Gethsemane as He even sweats drops of blood, his whole system breaking down in the agony. And here He is, troubled, deeply, over sin and death and all that Judas is about to do. And in His trouble, he bursts out and says, "One of you is going to betray Me." And the statement is a shocking statement. Their hearts must have raced. Their pulses must have been frantic. "One of you at this table, one of you whose feet I washed, one of you who have had the honor of being my first ambassadors, one of you will betray Me. One of you will use your intimacy of Me to guide the enemy, to take Me and kill Me." "Mine own familiar friend," the psalmist said, "has lifted up his heel against me." "One of you."

22 Then the disciples looked at one another, perplexed about whom He spoke.

The Synoptic Gospels provide us with a most significant detail. When informed that one of them would betray Him, the 11 disciples responded one way, while Judas responded differently:

Matthew 26:21-25 21 And while they were eating he said, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.” 22 They were deeply grieved and each one began to say to him, “Surely not I, Lord?” 23 He answered, “The one who has dipped his hand into the bowl with me will betray me. 24 The Son of Man will go as it is written about him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would be better for that man if he had not been born.” 25 Then Judas, who betrayed him, said, “Surely not I, Rabbi?” Jesus said to him, “You have said it yourself”.

Each of the believing disciples asks his Lord if it is him; Judas asks the Rabbi. After all Judas has seen and heard, Jesus is still only a teacher to him.

And so, we see the divine origin and the declaration, and then the doubt. The disciples don't know who He is talking about. And in verses 22-25 they express that. They're shocked. Who is this? Matthew says they all said, "Is it I? Is it I?" And Judas even said, "Is it I?" Hypocrite. That's how it is; the hypocrites are around, aren't they? I told you that only Jesus knows who they are.

For the moment, Jesus focuses His attention on Judas. Jesus dipped a piece of bread in the dish and handed it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. What an incredible, defining, moment this was! Jesus and Judas must have locked eyes. Judas had to have known that Jesus knew everything. Jesus knew Judas was the betrayer. He knew Judas did not really believe in Him. He knew Judas had already reached an agreement with the chief priests. He knew that Judas would soon go to the Jewish authorities, and lead them to Him, to arrest Him. In spite of all this, Judas reached out and took the bread, knowing what that meant. It forever sealed his doom.

If Judas and Jesus knew exactly what was going on, the rest of the disciples were without a clue.

In Matthew 13, when Jesus gave the parables of this age, He described this age in an interesting way. And I want you to listen to this. Matthew 13:24: "Another parable put He forth unto them, saying, 'The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man who sowed good seed in his field. But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat and went his way. But when the blade was sprung up and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also. So the servants of the household came and said unto him, 'Sir, didst thou not sow good seed in the field? From where then hath it tares?'" What's the false doing among the true? "He said unto them, "An enemy hath done this." See, wherever God sows His good seed, Satan sows his tares, doesn't he. If there is truth in the church, there are hypocrites, people playing a game. "The servant said to him, 'Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?' But he said to them, 'Nay. Lest while you gather up the tares, you root up the wheat with them.'" In other words, you can't tell the difference at this point of growth. You have to wait till it's dry and ready to harvest, then the difference becomes obvious. "'Let both grow together until the time of the harvest, and at the time of harvest, I will say to the reapers, 'Gather together first the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them, but gather the wheat into my barn."' There's coming a day, friends, when Jesus is going to decide who is the true and who is the hypocrite. I can't tell. I wish I could. If I could, I'd go to every hypocrite individually and warn him of his hypocrisy. And invite him to leave this fellowship unless he was legitimate. But I can't do that, because I can't read people's hearts. There are some telltale signs. But someday Jesus is going to know who's true and who's false. And divide accordingly.

 23 Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.

This is John's first reference to himself as the beloved disciple. Rather the description reveals his appreciation for God's grace in loving him as He did. He focused the reader's attention on Jesus more forcefully by omitting his own name.

 24 Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask who it was of whom He spoke.

 25 Then, leaning back on Jesus' breast, he said to Him, "Lord, who is it?"

Now this brings out the loveliness of Jesus. Isn't it interesting that the disciples were so perplexed. You know what that proves to me? That shows to me that Jesus had shown love to Judas for three years. Don't you know that they would have detected if Jesus, you know, Jesus could have been very bitter about Judas, right? All the way along, just resenting him, resenting him, resenting him. And it would have come out, in the way he talked to him. But, evidently, for three years He'd been gentle, loving, and kind to Judas in exactly the same fashion that the other eleven had experienced it, so that they didn't see any difference at all. In fact, Judas even was treasurer of the group. They trusted him. And so, evidently, that's the loveliness of Jesus, he had been constantly kind to Judas, privately rebuking him from time to time. But publicly showing him love. And hard-hearted Judas had just played his game, all the way along. He had the behavior of a saint, and the heart of a sinner.

 26 Jesus answered, "It is he to whom I shall give a piece of bread when I have dipped it." And having dipped the bread, He gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.

Passover participants normally did this early in the meal. The host would sometimes do this and pass a morsel of bread and meat to an honored guest. Jesus did this to Judas.

Judas must have sat near enough to Jesus for Jesus to do this conveniently (cf. Matt. 26:25). Possibly Judas reclined to Jesus' immediate left. If he did, this would have put him in the place of the honored guest immediately to the host's left.

Perhaps it was the apparently high honor that Jesus bestowed on Judas by extending the morsel to him that counteracted what Jesus had just said to John about the betrayer. Could Jesus really mean that the disciple who was the guest of honor would betray Him? This apparent contradiction may explain John's lack of response to Jesus' words to him about the betrayer.

Jesus' act of friendship to Judas triggered Judas' betrayal of Jesus' friendship. This was Jesus' final gesture of supreme love for Judas (cf. v. 1).

Then, point number four, Jesus gives the display that reveals the betrayer. And I believe that this was reserved for Peter and John. I believe they're the only ones who caught the message here, because later on it says that the other disciples didn't know what was going on. But Peter and John saw what happened.

Now, you say, what is sop? Sop would be a piece of unleavened bread, broken from some of the unleavened cakes that would be on the table having broken it off, there would be on the table in very many places a dish. And there was a dish called cheshireth, and it was filled with bitter herbs, vinegar, salt, mashed fruit consisting of dates and figs and raisins and water, and it was made kind of like a dip. And they would put the unleavened bread in there, and absorb some of that dip, and then they would eat it. And now it was always a mark of honor for the host to dip a sop and give it to the guest of honor. And Jesus, lovingly, kindly, in a gesture of love toward Judas, dips the sop, and gives it to Judas on His left, as if Judas was the guest of honor. I personally would not be surprised to find out some time in eternity that Jesus even asked Judas to sit beside Him, hoping that somehow He could communicate love, and break that impenitent heart. And so, Jesus did everything He could to show His love to Judas. He even gave him the token which signified him as the guest of honor. And incidentally, the one who sat on the left was number one guest. And Judas had that seat. You would think that this would have broken Judas' heart, wouldn't you? All of this on top of washing feet and everything else, but it didn't. You see, Judas was an apostate. By this time Judas was hard, and all the sweet love of Jesus couldn't recall that one whose salvation was now impossible. He was a Hebrews 6 case. He was impossible.

You notice that-he gives his full name there. That's so all posterity will remember the name. Judas, from the town of Carioth, son of Simon, the betrayer

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL HAVE YOU RECEIVED THE GREATEST GIFT OF ALL

21Aug

Do you know that the greatest gift of all you can ever receive is the free gift that Jesus gave us when he died on the Cross. Have you received that free gift? Romans 6:23 says For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Repent and ask God to forgive you and save you today and receive that free gift. Remember the only way a gift can actually be yours is if you receive it, so repent and ask God to forgive you and save you today and then tell Him thank you for forgiving you and saving you.

    John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

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The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

JOHN 13:12-18 MOST ASSUREDLY, I SAY TO YOU, A SERVANT IS NOT GREATER THAN HIS MASTER; NOR IS HE WHO IS SENT GREATER THAN HE WHO SENT HIM.

18Aug

John 13:12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you? 13 "You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. 15 "For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 "Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 "If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them. 18 "I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, 'He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.'

 In this very familiar passage of Scripture, we see Jesus having set the example for Servant Leadership in the first eleven verses asking them if they know what He has done.  Then He explains what He has done and why He did it. Jesus says Most Assuredly (i.e.; Listen Up What I am about to say is very Important).  He says that if He the Lord and God who created everything washed their dirty nasty feet, then what ought they to do?  Jesus is saying that we ought to do whatever it takes to help others become who they ought to be in Christ.  That we are to help everyone in spite of what they look like, smell like, talk like, act like, or anything else that we may not like about them.  Jesus says a blessing comes not by knowing what you ought to do, but by doing the very thing we most dislike doing sometimes, helping others who are not like us. Mt 25:40 "And the King will answer and say to them, 'Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.' He also tells them about Judas who has betrayed Him even after having fellowship with Him.

 And, thirdly, is humility in verses twelve to seventeen.

 12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, "Do you know what I have done to you?  13 "You call me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. Jesus says you say I am the Teacher and the Lord, in other words I have a great authority over you and others and if I in great authority do this to you, what ought you to do.  14 "If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet.  

15 "For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. Like as I have –in the same manner – means do whatever it takes to serve other people – Stands for self-sacrificing service for the Lord.  Not to do the same thing I have done, but to serve as I have. 

1Pe 5:5 ¶ Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for "God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble."

 16 "Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him.

 17 "If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.

  1. Jesus want you to wash His feet today by serving His People, Humility involves serving others, not just the Lord

Pride will keep you from doing so.

  1. Joy comes not just from learning about humility, but by demonstrating it
  2. Jesus wants to wash your feet today but your pride will stop you from letting Him do so.

Jesus’ demonstration of serving His disciples was more than a demonstration. It was really a call to service.

 You my brothers were called to be free but do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature. Rather serve one another in love.

 And he pointed out that people talk about, "I have freedom in Christ to do this and to do that” and most of the time they’re saying, "I'm free to do whatever pleases my flesh."

 But Galatians says our freedom in Christ is designed so that in love we can serve one another.

 Jesus and Judas, the epitomes of opposites. The Perfect One and the absolutely imperfect. The best and the worst. The absolutely perfect and the absolutely wretched. Jesus and Judas. And by contrast here the purity of Jesus, and the depravity of Judas become very, very obvious.

The perfect one and the polluted one

The Son of God and the Son of Perdition

The blessed one and the cursed one

The Holy One and the Hellish one

We come to the confrontation as it comes head to head between Jesus and Judas.

The name Judas itself bears a kind of a stigma which burns within us. He who betrayed the Son of God with a kiss has become the most despised person in the annals of human history. His personality is the darkest on the chronicle of the world. And in this passage, we see the blackness of Judas contrasted with the absolute pure whiteness of Jesus Christ. Jesus and Judas come head to head at this point, the deed which has been festering in the heart of Judas, and which he has begun to perpetrate is now pushed to its climax and Judas is exposed as the betrayer.

Well, there's no question about the fact that the man was an ultimate tragedy. He was probably the greatest tragedy that ever lived, because he is the perfect and prime example of what it means to have opportunity and then lose it. He is the greatest example of lost opportunity the world ever saw. Three years, he moved and walked with Jesus. And ended in absolute disaster. He initially shared the same hope of a kingdom that the other disciples shared. He likely believed that Jesus was the One who was going to bring it off. He, too, after all, had left all and followed Jesus. And it's obvious that he initially didn't join the apostles for the money involved because they never really did have anything. Certainly along the line he became greedy, but perhaps his motive on the outset was just to get in on this kingdom that Jesus would bring.

Whatever was his character at the beginning, it was a gradual process that turned him into the treacherous man that he was, a man who had no thought for anybody but himself, a man who finally only wanted to get as much money as he could and get out. Strangely enough, he followed the same Christ as the others, for three years. Just think about that. For three years, day in and day out, he occupied himself with Jesus Christ. He saw the same miracles, he heard the same words, he performed some of the same ministries, he was esteemed in the same way the other disciples were esteemed, yet he did not become what the others became. In fact, he became the very opposite. He was the cleverest hypocrite that we ever read about in the Scriptures. Nobody ever suspected it. And while they were growing into true apostle-saints of God, he was progressively forming into a vile, calculating tool of Satan. And as we come to the thirteenth Chapter of John, Satan literally enters right inside Judas. That's how prepared he is to do Satan's bidding. And when you look at the life of Judas, he becomes all the more terrible because of the glorious beginnings which he had. But greed, ambition, worldliness crept into his heart and avarice became his besetting sin. The failure to struggle with his own temptation, the disappointment that he had about every expectation of an earthly kingdom, the intolerable and unbearable rebuke of the presence of Christ. Just imagine that. Walking around all the time with sinless purity, while you were infested with vileness as Judas was. The sense, too, that perhaps the eye of the master was beginning to see who he was, and what he was. All of these things really began to eat away at him. And by the time we come to John 13, he's ready to do anything.

A few days before this in Bethany, he perpetrated his dirty deed by meeting with the leaders of Israel and bargaining for thirty pieces of silver, something around twenty to twenty-five dollars. The price of a slave was thirty pieces of silver. And Judas has already begun the deed, but now it comes to full fruition on the eve of the crucifixion.

 18 "I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, 'He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.'

Prophesied in Ps 41:9 Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me.

The idea of the heel lifted up, is the idea of brutal violence. It is the brutal kind of violence designated by the lifting of a heel and driving the heel into the neck of the individual. A neck-breaking heel. And that's the picture of Judas, brutal. Having wounded his enemy, lying on the ground, he takes the giant heel and crushes his neck.

Now, we realize one thing, a little footnote before we look at verse 18. We realize one thing, that unless Jesus in some way prepares the disciples for what is about to happen, it could affect them very, very seriously. For example, if Judas rises up all of a sudden and betrays Jesus, right out of the blue, the disciples may conclude that Jesus wasn't all He claimed to be, or He would have known that Judas was like this, and He never would have chosen him. Jesus wants to be sure that they don't think He is going to be surprised by what Judas does. Because that could be the loss of their faith. And so, to show them that Jesus is no surprise victim, that whatever happens, He knows about it, and it is all in the plan of God, He says what He says in verse 18. And what He says here is that even the betrayal of Judas has a divine origin. It fits into the master plan of God.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 13 For such people are false apostles, deceitful workers, disguising themselves as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is not surprising his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will correspond to their actions

In the ancient Jewish (and perhaps more broadly, the Near Eastern) culture, inviting a man into one’s home and to his table was a most significant act. If the host made such commitments to his guest(s), one would expect the guest to reciprocate in some way. And yet the one who sat at our Lord’s table and ate His bread actually betrayed Him. What a horrible thing Judas is about to do to His Master, and immediately after eating His bread.

To share a meal with guests was to offer them not only provisions, but protection.

You remember that David had a bad son. His name was Absalom. And Absalom decided to start a rebellion and to overthrow his father and take over the throne. Now David had a counselor and a friend named Ahithophel. But Ahithophel turned against David, joined Absalom's rebellion. And here in Psalm 41 David is saying this of Ahithophel. "You mine own familiar friend whom I trusted, you've eaten bread with me, close fellowship, you've turned and taken your heel against me." That picture of David and Ahithophel is fulfilled in a greater sense in Jesus and Judas. Jesus, the greater David, Judas, the greater Ahithophel.

Over in Psalm 55, we see another prophecy, clearly a prophecy of Judas and his betrayal. Psalm 55:12. Listen to how this describes Judas. "For it was not an enemy that reproached me, then I could have borne it." Imagine Jesus speaking these words. "Neither was it he that hated me who did magnify himself against me. Then I would have hidden myself from him. But it was thou, a man mine equal, my guide, my familiar friend. We took sweet counsel together, walked unto the house of God in company." Now verse 20. "He has put forth his hands against such as are at peace with him; he hath broken his covenant. The words of his mouth were smoother than butter, but war was in his heart. His words were softer than oil, yet they were drawn swords. Over in Zechariah, next to the last book in the Old Testament, and in the eleventh chapter even more detail is given about the betrayal of Christ by Judas. In fact it even gives the exact price. Right as exactly you see it in the New Testament. Zechariah 11:12: "And I said unto them, 'If ye think good, give me my price.'" And this is Judas talking. Prophetically, this is Judas talking to the Jewish leaders. "'If you think good, give me my price, and if not forbear.' So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said unto me, 'Cast it unto the potter, a lordly price that I was prized at of them.' And I took the thirty pieces of silver and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord." And you know what Judas did after the death of Jesus Christ? He took the thirty pieces right back to the house of the Lord, threw them down. The thirty pieces were picked up, Matthew 27 says, they took them out and bought a potter's field, exactly, to the letter, fulfilling the prophecy of Zechariah 11. And there's a picture of Judas.

Long before Judas was ever born, his hatred of Jesus Christ was master planned by divine authorship into the activity of the cross. Jesus choosing Judas was no accident. In John 17:12, listen to this, Jesus says to the Father, "While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name," talking about his disciples. "Those that thou gave Me I have kept and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition," that's Judas, "that the Scripture might be fulfilled.” Judas didn't surprise Jesus one bit. He knew every move Judas ever made. It was predestined in the plan of God from eternity past. It was woven into the prophecy of the Old Testament at least three places as clearly as it could possibly be there. Now may I add quickly this statement: Judas' part was not apart from Judas' own will. Even though God master planned it, even though it was of divine origin that Judas would fit into the body of the twelve, and betray Christ. Yet it was not apart from the desire of Judas.

Judas was no robot. The idea that our Lord simply allocated to an unwilling Judas the part of the villain in the crucifixion is inconsistent with Jesus Christ. And it's inconsistent with the constant rebukes Jesus gives to Judas. All the way along the ministry of Jesus, he rebukes Judas. He endeavors to drive him to repentance, time and time again. And so we conclude that even though Judas' treachery fit into the plan of God, God did not design him as a treacherous man. That he became by his own choice. God merely designed his treachery into His plan. He didn't design the treachery.

Isn't it marvelous, again we come to the Old Testament principle that says this: "You meant it for evil, but I meant it for good." And God again took the wrath of Judas, to praise Him. And through the deed that Judas did, brought salvation.

I think also there are other reasons why Jesus chose Judas. As I analyze the life of Judas, there are so many profound lessons that we learn from Judas. What are they? Number one, we learn that Judas fit in as part of redemptive planning. We learned that God can use anything in His plan. And as I said He takes the wretch to praise Him. Then I think Judas was chosen because he became an impartial witness to Christ. It's one thing for John the Baptist to witness to Christ and all the apostles and all the people who believed in Him, but do you know one of the greatest witnesses that's ever been given in the history of the world, was given by Judas? Judas, if he could have found one thing wrong with Jesus Christ would have played it up to the skies, wouldn't he? If Judas could have found one error in Jesus Christ, he would have seized on it and capitalized on it. If Judas could have found one thing wrong at all, he would have blown it all over the place. Do you know what Judas said? His dying words were these, "I have betrayed innocent blood." That's one of the greatest testimonies to the truth of Jesus Christ that any man ever gave. And he was an impartial witness. He was biased the other way.

Another lesson I think that Judas teaches us is that he gives us the opportunity to uncover the awfulness of sin. Sin is never as black as it is in the life of Judas. The blackest kind of sin. And to really understand the cross, you have to see a Judas, because then you know what that cross can accomplish in forgiving that kind of sin. Then also I think that Judas and his life of treachery teaches us to supply sinners with a solemn warning. We ought to learn from the example of Judas, my friend. You ought to learn that you can be very near to God, very near to Jesus Christ, and yet be lost and damned forever. Nobody ever got closer in this world than the twelve. And Judas was one of them. And he's in hell today. Fifthly, I think the story of Judas teaches another lesson. It teaches us that there will be hypocrites among the brethren. You know something, Judas wasn't deceived, did you know that? He was a fake, that's all. He posed as a believer. And he was good at it. He was the best. And mark it, wherever God's work is done, there are hypocrites. Satan always uses them.

Another lesson that I think we learn from Judas is the fact that the devil is at work among the Lord's people. Here they are gathered around at the table, the last supper, and moving among them is Satan himself. Be sure of it friends, it's true. Many lessons from the life of Judas. Wherever God's work is done Satan will be there. First of all, Jesus says that it was all in God's plan, that He was not being taken by surprise. And so we see the divine origin of the betrayal.

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL PRAYING AND LIVING IN THE POWER OF GOD

14Aug

Paul always prayed for spiritual growth, power, and understanding in his writings.  In Ephesians Chapter 1 Paul prays for enlightenment, and understanding the spiritual riches God has given to us. In Ephesians Chapter 3 he prays for enablement, that they and we would know that our God is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all we ask or think according to His power that works in us.  Did you know that you have the awesome power of God given to you.  Are you utilizing it?  That's why He gave it to us.  If God be for us, who can be against us, for we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

    John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

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30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL MINISTERING TO THE LEAST OF THESE

12Aug

Everyone His Love Ministries reaches out to is locked up in some way.  Some are locked up in bodies that don't work or the Nursing Home facility or in the wheelchair or bed they cannot get out of.  We minister to youth who are locked up because of behavior problems or their parents and their cry is we want to have a “REAL FAMILY”. Other kids are locked up because of crimes.  We reach those locked up correctional facilities; in addictions to drugs, depression, and suicidal thoughts.  Jesus came to give us life and set us free and these folks are not free that we minister to, but we can set them free through Christ Jesus.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today. 

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 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

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JOHN 13:1-11 JESUS SAID TO HIM, “HE WHO IS BATHED NEEDS ONLY TO WASH HIS FEET, BUT IS COMPLETELY CLEAN; AND YOU ARE CLEAN, BUT NOT ALL OF YOU.”

11Aug

John 13:1 Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. 2 And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, 4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 6 Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, "Lord, are You washing my feet?" 7 Jesus answered and said to him, "What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this." 8 Peter said to Him, "You shall never wash my feet!" Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me." 9 Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!" 10 Jesus said to him, "He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you." 11 For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, "You are not all clean."

 

In today’s message we will see Jesus humbling Himself and showing us the attitude of Servant Leadership.  This is a concept that is shown by Jesus the whole time He is here on earth.  He was humble in the fact that the God who created everything came to earth to die on the cross for our sins (Philippians 2:5-11).  Jesus said in Mark 9:35 And He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, "If anyone desires to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all." Peter gets proud and doesn’t want Jesus to wash his feet so He tells Jesus "Lord, are You washing my feet? So, Jesus begins to say that Peter doesn’t understand all this right now, but will later on.  Peter strongly protests again. So, Jesus tells Peter that if He is not allowed to wash his feet that He cannot have anything to do with Jesus.  So Peter replies wash all of me then.  Jesus lets Peter know that a saved person (those that are completely clean) only needs to clean their feet.  In other words a saved person has been completely washed clean by the Blood of Jesus and only needs to daily ask for forgiveness(wash their feet) to maintain fellowship with God.  1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. As we walk through this world we get dirty from being exposed to the sin around us that contaminates us.  He then tells Peter that Judas is not saved by saying all of you are not clean.

The opening section stands out with three dominant thoughts in John thirteen, the first three verses. The first is that Jesus Christ knew His hour had come. He knew it was the time. Secondly Jesus Christ loved his disciples until the end and thirdly Jesus Christ knew that Judas would betray Him. We are going to try to apply as we set a foundation for looking at this whole section of “How to prepare for My departure,” Jesus says. “How to get ready for when I'm gone. How to continue once I leave you.”

1 Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end. 3rd Passover in John

And the way the original language would be read, and the way the first century would hear it, would be more of, "He loved them to the full extent. He loved them comprehensively. He loved them completely. He loved them perfectly. He loved them, not just to the end when He died. He loved them fully."  So He came unto His own, His own new Him not. Those who were chosen responded and He loved them to the full extent.

 2 And supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray Him,

 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, It is our Lord’s sovereignty that is being stressed here, and not His suffering.[1]

John wishes us to understand that Jesus washed the disciples’ feet at a time when others would not have been inclined to do so. Jesus was in complete control. Jesus was God’s CEO. When men find themselves in this position, they are tempted to behave very differently: “Jesus called them and said to them, ‘You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions exercise authority over them’” (Mark 10:42). In spite of who He was; in spite of the fact that all authority had been given to Him, Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. In spite of the fact that He could have required men to minister to Him, catering to His every whim, Jesus humbled Himself by washing the feet of His disciples. This was truly an amazing thing! Jesus humbled Himself, knowing that He was soon going to be exalted higher than anyone in all of human history.

In chapters 1-12

“love” occurs 12 times

 1 time per chapter

In chapters 13-17

“love” occurs 34 times

 approx. 7 times per chapter

It is obvious, is it not, that John wishes to emphasize the love our Lord has for His own? Mitchell observes:

It is remarkable that in this section, starting in chapter 13, begins with the statement, ‘Having loved his own which were in the world, he loved them unto the end;’ (13:1). This section ends in chapter 17 with Jesus praying, ‘that the love wherewith thou has loved me may be in them, and I in them’ (17:26). He begins and ends with His love for His own. It’s just like the Savior! And down through these five chapters we have the marvelous revelation of His love, of His concern for His own.[2]

Here is the amazing thing. Jesus loves His own. Jesus loves His own, knowing everything. He loves His own, knowing that He is sovereign, and that He is about to leave this earth and return to His Father. He loves His own, knowing that they have been arguing (or will shortly do so) about who is the greatest, knowing that they are about to forsake Him and flee for their lives, knowing that Peter will deny Him. It is one thing for people to love us, who do not know all of our wicked deeds, thoughts, and motivations. It is another for the Holy God of heaven to love us, knowing every wicked thing we have done and will do. This is, indeed, amazing love. What a comfort to the Christian, knowing that our Lord’s love is constant and unchanging, knowing that He chose to love us—and to keep on loving us—purely out of His grace, and not based upon our performance. Jesus loved His own; He loved them to the “end”—to the uttermost degree, and to the very end.[3] What security! What grace! What a Savior!

 4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself.

The washing of the feet of one’s guests was expected in Jesus’ day, as we can see from Luke’s Gospel:

44 Then, turning toward the woman, he said to Simon, “Do you see this woman? I entered your house, you gave me no water for my feet, but she has wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You gave me no kiss of greeting, but from the time I entered she has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not anoint my head with oil, but she has anointed my feet with perfumed oil (Luke 7:44-46).

Normally, the host would not do this washing himself, because it was regarded as a very demeaning task. We get some idea of just how menial it was from the comment Abigail makes to David in the Old Testament: “Then she arose, bowed her face to the earth, and said, ‘Here is your maidservant, a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord’” (1 Samuel 25:41, NKJV).

Foot washing was understood in the same way by John the Baptist:

When John the Baptist desired to give expression to his feeling of unworthiness in comparison to Christ, he could think of no better way to express this than to say that he deemed himself unworthy of kneeling down in front of Jesus in order to unloose his sandal straps and remove the sandals (with a view to washing the Master’s feet).”[4]

I believe our Lord’s washing of the disciples’ feet in John 13 is further explained by a comment that is found in Luke’s Gospel:

24 A dispute also started among them over which of them was to be regarded as the greatest. 25 So Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and those in authority over them are called ‘benefactors.’ 26 But it must not be like that with you! Instead the one who is greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the one who serves. 27 For who is greater, the one who is seated at the table, or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is seated at the table? But I am among you as one who serves” (Luke 22:24-27).

It would not at all surprise me if this dispute occurred just as the disciples were entering this upper room. 8 “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, because a person more distinguished than you may have been invited by your host. 9 So the host who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give this man your place,’ and then with shame you will start to take the least important place. 10 But when you are invited, go and take the least important place, so that when your host comes he will say to you, ‘Friend, move up here to a better place.’ Then you will be honored in the presence of all who share the meal with you. 11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:8-11).

I believe that when the disciples entered this upper room, they were all intent on sitting in the places of honor—at our Lord’s right and left hand (see Matthew 20:21-23). I can almost see them pushing and shoving their way into the room, hurrying past the basin of water, where a servant normally would have been present to wash the feet of the guests as they entered, in preparation for the meal. This may well have been the time that the disciples argued among themselves about who was to be regarded as the greatest. After all, every one of them would have to establish their “ranking” among the 12 if they were to be seated according to their greatness. I can see our Lord, quietly observing His disciples as they squabble. I can imagine Him making His way to the washbasin, and filling it with water, while His disciples continue to argue with each other, completely oblivious to what He is doing. And then they suddenly become silent as they realize that He has taken the lowest position of all—lower than the lowest of the 12—the position of a servant (and not a high-ranking servant, either). To their amazement, they observe Jesus, working His way from one of them to the next, first washing a pair of dirty feet, and then drying them with the towel that is wrapped about His waist. The argument seems to end with the words of our Lord in verses 12-17. They may not understand all that He has done, but they must have had enough sense to know it was time to be stop bickering and be quiet.[5]

Two verses out of five focus on the actual washing of the disciples’ feet by our Lord. Three of the five verses provide us with background information, which John believes his readers need to know in order to properly understand the Lord’s actions. We might say that verses 1-3 provide us with information that gives us insight into our Lord’s “state of mind.”[6] This “state of mind”[7] of our Lord is expressed by John, both in terms of what Jesus “knew” (see verses 1, 3, 11), and in terms of why He did what He did (namely, His great love for His own).

It would seem to me that the lack of a servant to wash the disciples’ feet was deliberate on our Lord’s part. First of all, it was the host’s responsibility to provide this (see Luke 7), and Jesus was the host. Furthermore, throughout the Gospels, we see Jesus very carefully arranging for things in advance (the procuring of the donkey and its colt, and of a place in which to celebrate Passover, etc.). I cannot imagine that our Lord—who is omniscient (knowing all)—would forget to provide for the foot washing. And finally, all the things that were necessary for the foot washing were present (the basin, the water, the towel). I am therefore inclined to think that Jesus purposefully arranged for a servant not to be present, so that He could wash the disciples’ feet, knowing (as He did) all that would take place during this meal.

Those of you who've studied the Bible in detail and know a little bit of how to use the concordance and language tools, this is a wonderfully rich study for you to do on your own. Just look at these seven verbs. How they're used in the Gospel of John and how they're used elsewhere in the course of the New Testament.

 And one I want to point out is the one secondly, "laid aside." It also shows up in John chapter ten verses eleven, fifteen, seventeen and eighteen. And that's where He's going to lay down His life for them. The same word John uses here. So Jesus, when He lays aside His garment, is showing them a picture of laying aside Himself for them. He's laying aside His position for them. He's going to lay aside His life for them.

 Now if John gives us a parable that is acted out by the Lord, Paul gives us the theology of the Lord in Philippians chapter two and many of you are familiar with that passage of Scripture sometimes called the Kenosis; the emptying of Jesus Christ.  He emptied Himself and took on the form of a bondservant. So in part of your study this week you might want to look at these seven verbs and you also want to compare with the theology of Philippians chapter two where Paul explains the why of what Jesus did.

 Now Jesus Christ is not self promoting. In fact he is self humiliating. He condescends because he garbs himself like a slave to wipe off the grime of humanity. When we read over it the first time, we might wonder what's missing in the story. The tools are all there:  the basin, the pitcher, the water, and the towel are all present in the story. They're not missing.

 5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.

 6 Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, "Lord, are You washing my feet?"

 7 Jesus answered and said to him, "What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this."

 8 Peter said to Him, "You shall never wash my feet!" Jesus answered him, "If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me." Strongest negative in Greek Language - This is a triple negative, no never, ever will you wash my feet   If I do not wash “You? Are You going to wash my feet?"

Joh 3:5; 1Co 6:11; Eph 5:26; Tit 3:5; Heb 10:22

 McGregor writes, "Peter is humble enough to see the incongruity of Christ’s action, yet proud enough to dictate to his Master."

 you - Entire Bath Spiritually means have been saved

Peter is protesting against divine grace. Think of it for a moment. Peter is, with a fair measure of false humility, rejecting our Lord’s actions as though he is undeserving (which, of course, he is). That is the point. What Jesus does for His disciples, He does out of love and grace. And this is precisely what Jesus is about to point out to Peter. Would he resist having Jesus wash his feet, on the premise that he is unworthy? Then he must also reject having his sins washed away by the shed blood of Jesus on the cross of Calvary, for he is unworthy of this as well. To reject grace in principle is to reject all grace, period. And so Jesus says to Peter: “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me.”

 9 Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!"

 10 Jesus said to him, "He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you."  Bathed  - Part of a body cleaned – daily cleansing of sins – 1John 1:9 – get dirty as we walk through this world What does it mean to be cleansed by Jesus? First of all it’s the atonement. There is the fundamental requirement that a person who trusts Christ is the tone for by His blood for our sins. This is a complete action. When you trust Jesus Christ, He takes care of all of your sins, all of my sins. No matter how wicked in the past, no matter how grotesque we are presently involved in him; when we are at tone for by the blood of Christ, He cleanses us from all of our sins. That's a profound truth, men and women.

 But there's a second layer of that, if you will, and that's the need for forgiveness. Yes, we have positionally and perfectly been atoned for by Christ's work, but we need ongoing forgiveness by Christ when we sin. I John 1:9 would be an example. We have a positional cleansing, but we need ongoing forgiveness.

 11 For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, "You are not all clean." Judas is not saved

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 

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[1] Being omniscient, Jesus knew everything. He knew that Judas had decided to betray Him to the Jewish religious leaders. Jesus would also have known that all of His disciples would abandon Him and that Peter would deny Him, but in verses 1-3, this is not John’s emphasis.

[2] John G. Mitchell, with Dick Bohrer, p. 248.

[3] “… (this noun only here in this Gospel) is ambiguous, meaning both ‘to the end’ and ‘to the utmost.’ It is likely that here we have a typical Johannine double meaning, with both meanings intended. But the aorist, hgaphsen, is more consistent with love shown in a single act than with the continuance of love (imperfect).” Carson, p. 614, fn. 8.

[4] Hendriksen, vol. 2, p. 228.

[5] This entire paragraph is speculative, and thus the reader should beware, but it does at least suggest how things may have happened.

[6] In a criminal trial, the state of mind of the accused is usually given considerable attention, especially in crimes which have different degrees (first, second, third) of guilt, and therefore of punishment. Here, while it is unusual perhaps, John describes our Lord’s “state of mind” so that we can determine the degree of goodness of this foot washing. I think we should conclude from what we are told that Jesus is to be assessed with “first degree goodness.”

[7] “I am of the opinion that this was added for the purpose of informing us whence Christ obtained such a well-regulated composure of mind. It was because, having already obtained a victory over death, he raised his mind to the glorious triumph which was speedily to follow. It usually happens, that men seized with fear are greatly agitated. The Evangelist means, that no agitation of this sort was to be found in Christ, because, though he was to be immediately betrayed by Judas, still he knew that the Father had given all things into his hand. It may be asked, How then was he reduced to such a degree of sadness that he sweat blood? I reply, both were necessary. It was necessary that he should have a dread of death, and it was necessary that, notwithstanding of this, he should fearlessly discharge every thing that belonged to the office of the Mediator.” John Calvin, Calvin’s Commentaries, Volume 7: The Gospels (Grand Rapids: Associated Publishers and Authors Inc., n.d.), p. 821.

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL MINISTERING TO THE LEAST OF THESE

7Aug

Everyone His Love Ministries reaches out to is locked up in some way.  Some are locked up in bodies that don't work or the Nursing Home facility or in the wheelchair or bed they cannot get out of.  We minister to youth who are locked up because of behavior problems or their parents and their cry is we want to have a “REAL FAMILY”. Other kids are locked up because of crimes.  We reach those locked up correctional facilities; in addictions to drugs, depression, and suicidal thoughts.  Jesus came to give us life and set us free and these folks are not free that we minister to, but we can set them free through Christ Jesus.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today. 

www.hisloveministries.podbean.com  #HLMSocial www.hisloveministries.net  https://www.instagram.com/hisloveministries1/?hl=en https://www.facebook.com/His-Love-Ministries-246606668725869/

 “And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

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JOHN 12:44-50 THEN JESUS CRIED OUT AND SAID, “HE WHO BELIEVES IN ME, BELIEVES NOT IN ME BUT IN HIM WHO SENT ME

4Aug

John 12:44 Then Jesus cried out and said, "He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. 45 "And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. 46 "I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. 47 "And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 48 "He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him--the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. 49 "For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak. 50 "And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak."

 Jesus really wants people to be saved.  In Luke 19:10 it says "for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost. “The consequence of rejection is going to bring ultimate condemnation.  John 3:17-19 emphasizes the same thing.  Jesus the Word comes and people are condemned because they don’t believe it. 

 The purpose of God’s revelation in Jesus Christ is a positive offer, verse forty-seven.  “To save the world.”  You may not like the law of gravity. Gravity has no respect for persons and if you step off the top a building, the gravity will not even care or shed a tear as you hit the pavement.  It won’t care. Over and over again Jesus has told them who He is and they need to be saved, the truth has been revealed and they will not embrace it.

Whether or not people embrace it or reject it is their responsibility.  Do not blame the medical community if you have lung cancer.  Do not blame the medical community if you have diabetes.  Do not blame the physicist and the guy who figured out the laws of gravity.  You and I make a choice to go against what we know.  And that’s exactly what God saying to us here. 

 Put it another way, no one will be in hell who did not have ample opportunity to know how to be saved.  There is not a person who will go to hell who did not have ample opportunity to come to trust in Jesus Christ.  I believe Scripture teaches it throughout.  Jesus is speaking to His Father and He is speaking loud and the religious leaders are quiet because they’re afraid. How about you, what will you believe?

 44 Then Jesus cried out and said, "He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me.

We cannot tell for certain when and where these final words of our Lord were spoken. In verse 36, John tells us that Jesus “went away and hid himself from them.” Verses 37-43 are John’s words, explaining Israel’s unbelief. Verses 44-50 are our Lord’s final words, which seem to be placed here out of chronological sequence. John is not so concerned about the timing of these words as their impact. In many ways, verses 44-50 sum up the message of the Gospel of John, and of our Lord. We find nothing new here, but a repetition of what has been said many times before. Since these are our Lord’s final words, spoken publicly to the Jews in Jerusalem, this makes good sense.

I would point out that our Lord’s words here are not only applicable to the Jews, who are already rejecting Him as their Messiah, but to the Greeks, who are seeking Him as their Messiah. Jesus intends for these words to be heard because He shouts them out (verse 44).[1] I believe the backdrop for these final words of our Lord is found in John chapter 10, where our Lord says,

37 “If I do not perform the deeds of my Father, do not believe me. 38 But if I do them, even if you do not believe me, believe the deeds, so that you may come to know and understand that I am in the Father and the Father is in me.”

Jesus’ words here are spoken to the Jews in Jerusalem during the feast of the Dedication. Jesus has been teaching about Himself as the Good Shepherd, and He has clearly claimed to be one with the Father. As a result, the Jewish religious authorities sought to stone Him (10:31). Jesus tells them how they can put His words to the test. They know that He has claimed to be God, so let them test this claim by His works. Do His works confirm His words? This is a very sensitive point because our Lord frequently employs the word “hypocrite” in reference to the Pharisees. Their works did not measure up to their words (see Matthew 23:1-3). Jesus is more than willing to have His words tested by His works. If they will not believe His words for their sake alone, then let them believe His words on account of His works. Let them conclude with Nicodemus, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs that you do unless God is with him” (John 3:2).

When we go back to John 12:34, the Jewish people had to choose between the teaching of Jesus and the teaching of the Pharisees. There (12:35-36), Jesus urged them to “walk in the light,” to believe and behave in the light of what He taught. Once again, in Jesus’ final exhortation to the Jews, He urges those who hear Him to walk in the light. His message is clear and concise. He has come from God, and He speaks for God (verses 49-50). His words are God’s commandment, and this commandment is the means to eternal life (verses 49-50). To believe in the word of Jesus is to believe in the Father; to see Jesus is to see the Father (verses 44-45). If one believes in Jesus, he obeys His words. If one does not believe in the words of Jesus, he disobeys the commandment of God and fails to enter into eternal life. Instead, the words of Jesus become the basis of the unbeliever’s eternal judgment.

 First of all He, Jesus Christ, in this rendering, it says, “He cried out.”

 Some of your versions say, “He shouted out loudly.”

 That’s a good rendering and many other times its used when it means to scream or to shout out.  So Jesus Christ is openly, loudly speaking about His Father when the Jewish leaders are silent for fear.  That’s what the writer wants you to see.  Jesus came to lead the people out of darkness into light. 

Verse 44, for example. Jesus cried out, it's as if John is saying when Jesus was here, Jesus cried out and said, "He that believeth on Me believeth not on Me but on Him that sent Me." You can't believe in Jesus Christ without believing in God the Father, you can't believe in God the Father without believing in Jesus Christ. We covered that in three passages...5:24; 8:19; and 10:38, all three of those places the same message. The only way you'll ever know God is through Christ. The only way you'll ever know Christ is also to experience and know fully in the fullest sense the God who created the universe.

So what is the first result? The first forever consequence of belief? A personal knowledge of God and Christ.!

 45 "And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me.

Then verse 45, another consequence of belief, "He that seeth Me seeth Him that sent Me." Just kind of reiterating the first statement. It's a vision and an insight concerning God. You know, Hebrews 1 tells us that Christ is the expressed image of God's person. So when you know Christ, you know the God of the universe. That's the first consequence of belief. The first forever consequence is a permanent, forever knowledge of God.

 46 "I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness.

Verse 46, "I am come a light into the world," you remember how He said that. "That whosoever believeth in Me should not abide in darkness." There's another consequence of belief, you're not in darkness, you're in light forever, eternal light.

 47 "And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.

here's another consequence, "If any man hear My words and believe not, I judge him not for I came not to judge the world but to save the world." That's a tremendous statement. Jesus said, "I am not come to condemn the world but that the world might be saved." Jesus didn't come as judge, He came as...what?...as Savior. He didn't come to judge the world, but if a man refuses Him, then that man assigns judgment to himself. John 3, "He is judged already because he has not believed on the name of the only begotten Son of God." Jesus said, "I came to save. If men refuse Me, that's judgment. I didn't come to judge." Next time He comes, what does He come to do? Comes to judge. First time He came to save, if men refuse His salvation they receive His judgment. I didn't come to judge, I came to save. Men refused.

 48 "He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him--the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day.

"He that rejecteth Me and receiveth not My words hath one that judges him, the Word that I have spoken the same shall judge him in the last day."

 The purpose of God’s revelation in Jesus Christ is a positive offer, verse forty-seven.  “To save the world.”  We’ve spoken before about the very appearance of the message to save the world has in a sense a condemning side to it.  Come back to the foundation.  We’re all sinful already.  We’re all destined for hell already, prior to the offer of salvation coming.

 Well, the consequence of rejection is going to bring ultimate condemnation.  John 3:17-19 underscores same thing.  In this context, the Word comes and people are condemned because they don’t believe it. 

You may not like the law of gravity. gravity has no respect for persons and if you step off the top of this building, the gravity will not even care or shed a tear of propositional truth as you hit the pavement.  It won’t care.

 In all these scenarios, the law has been, if you will, revealed.  The rule’s been revealed.  Whether or not people embrace it or reject it is their responsibility.  Do not blame the medical community if you have lung cancer.  Do not blame the medical community if you have diabetes.  Do not blame the physicist and the guy who figured out the laws of gravity.  You and I make a choice to go against what we know.  And that’s exactly what God saying to us here. 

 Put it another way, no one will be in hell who did not have ample opportunity to know how to be saved.  There is not a person who will go to hell who did not have ample opportunity to come to trust in Jesus Christ.  Now, that may be hard for you to find a box to fit in, but I believe Scripture teaches it throughout.  Jesus is speaking to His Father and He is speaking loud and the religious leaders are quiet because they’re afraid.

You know what's going to judge a man without Christ? The Word that Jesus spoke, the actual words that He spoke. Let me give you an illustration of that. The Law says...Do this and you'll die. The Law says...If you kill somebody, you'll die. So you kill somebody, then what becomes your judge? The Law does because the Law said you had to die. The Law says if you violate this thing you'll have to pay a fine. So you violate it and the Law is read to you, the Law is your judge. Jesus came along and said, "Believe you have life, refuse you have death." You refuse, the statement of Jesus is your judge. In other words, the words of Christ become your judge if you refuse Christ. Christ's word is the judge of every man. It doesn't have to be Christ personally. If you...if you kill somebody and you're sentenced by the Law that said if you murder you pay, you can't blame the judge and say, "You're the one, Judge, who sent me to jail, it's all your fault?" No. It's not his fault, he merely is there to make sure that that law...that that law operates on you. And that's how it is at the Great White Throne when Jesus is going to judge men. He's not going to be there to pass all the verdicts just ipso-facto without any other relationship, He is only there to say...Now here was the law, you violated it, so by that law you are judged. So if you don't believe, the Law, the word of Jesus is going to be your judge.

 49 "For I have not spoken on My own authority; but the Father who sent Me gave Me a command, what I should say and what I should speak.

  50 "And I know that His command is everlasting life. Therefore, whatever I speak, just as the Father has told Me, so I speak."  

Jesus says, “I’ve got my Father’s command.”  First time He calls the Gospel a command.  There’s a sense in which the Gospel message is a command.  A command to be obeyed by his son.  “To preach it.  Teach it.”  A command to be obeyed by people to believe Him.  Obeying the Father’s commandment will result in eternal life and condemnation comes not because God sent and relegated to hell, condemnation comes because they reject the Word that came.  And that judges them and therefore they are self-condemned. 

If a man refuses to hear the teaching of Jesus Christ, he sentences himself. He assigns himself to judgment. Jesus came to save. He came to give light. He came to show men the knowledge of God. He came to offer men everlasting life. If a man refuses it, a man then assigns himself to judgment.

Hebrews 12:25, "See that you refuse not Him that speaketh for if they escape not who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him that speaketh from heaven?"

if the people who lived when the prophets lived and when Jesus lived refused and serious judgment came on them, how much more serious on us who refuse when God speaks right out of heaven? Whose voice then shook the earth. "But now He hath promise saying yet once more I shake not the earth only but also heaven and this word yet once more signifieth the removing of those things that are shaken." He goes on to say that God is a consuming fire. Listen, if it was serious when men refused God through the voice of His prophets and His Son, how much more serious is it going to be when we refuse His direct voice to us in His Word? God is a consuming fire. To believe is everlasting life, to reject and harden your heart may mean that God will harden it for you. You will not believe and soon you cannot believe.

Israel had a day, and it ended. And so could yours.

 The root of unbelief points to the glory of Jesus Christ. He is the radiance of God’s glory, but he is meek and lowly. The root of unbelief is to love the glory of man (the centrality of man, the praise of man) and not the glory of God (the centrality and supremacy of God). And that is exactly backwards. When we love the glory of God above the glory of man, we will not reject Jesus, but believe on him.

The text of this message and the entire story of the public ministry of Jesus points us to the cross where he will die. He was the glory of Isaiah 6. He was the unattractive suffering servant of Isaiah 53. And therefore (because of both) he was rejected by men and destined for the cross — and for the salvation of the world. This is what God planned in the unbelief of Israel.

He was despised and rejected by men;
a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;
and as one from whom men hide their faces
he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
But he was wounded for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his stripes we are healed. (Isaiah 53:3–5)

  John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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 The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

[1] The same word (shouted out) is found in John 7:37, where Jesus “shouted out” His words in the temple (see also 7:28). Jesus wants to be certain everyone hears these most crucial words.

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL THE BIBLE SAYS WE ARE TO SHOW NO PREJUDICE

31Jul

Hi, I'm Marty Mckenzie with His Love Ministries.  Come closer I know a secret, Nah, not really, the secret is out. What was a mystery in the OT is now revealed. We are all one in Christ. Galatians says there is no more Jew, No Greek, No male, no female. James says to show no partiality, Peter said that God is no respecter of persons and Ac 17:26 says we all came from one blood.  So the next time we see a brother or sister in Christ, no matter their color, or standing in society, let's remember that God saved us both out of the same sin, and we are all one in Christ, Can we do that?

   John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

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The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

JOHN 12:37-43 FOR THEY LOVED THE PRAISE OF MEN MORE THAN THE PRAISE OF GOD

28Jul

John 12:37 But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him, 38 that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke: "Lord, who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?" 39 Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again: 40 "He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, Lest they should see with their eyes, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them." 41 These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him. 42 Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him, lest they should be put out of the synagogue; 43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

 We will hear in this message that Jesus had done many signs (miracles with a message) yet they would not believe in Him.  The theme of the whole book John 20:30-31 is that Jesus is God in human flesh because He is God over time, over death, over distance, over nature, over demons, over all creation.  It also says all this was done that it might fulfill the prophecies of Isaiah, who said they would hear, but not believe, so God hardens their heart to the point that they cannot believe.  This prophecy was given when He saw Jesus (God) high and lifted up on the throne in chapter 6.  Many believe in Jesus, but are not truly saved because they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.  Who are you seeking to please?  Jesus said in Mt 10:32 "Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven. Mt 10:33 "But whoever denies Me before men, him I will also deny before My Father who is in heaven. So whose praise are you looking for; Men’s or God’s?

37  But although He had done so many signs before them, they did not believe in Him,

They had rejected the evidence (v. 37). The light had been shining, but they refused to believe and follow the light. Note the terrible results of repeatedly rejecting Christ’s Word (vv. 37–41):

 (1) They would not believe (v. 37) though they had seen the evidence for His divine Sonship.

 (2) They could not believe (v. 39) because their hearts became hard and their eyes blind.

 (3) Therefore, God said, “They should not believe” (v. 39) because they had spurned His grace!

Now He pulls on two verses from that prophesy of Isaiah and they form two questions.  Who has believed our report?  That’s the first question.  This is a lament.  This is a complaint on the part of the writer.  He’s saying, “Why haven’t they believed, for goodness sakes?”  It also tells us that the prophet, perhaps seven hundred years prior to Christ walking on this globe, the prophet foresaw something.  He foretold something.  They wouldn’t believe.  We’re going to take this report, we’re going to clear it out to our own people and they aren’t going to embrace it. 

38 that the word of Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled, which he spoke: "Lord, who has believed our report? And to

Whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?"

 The second question is, “To whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”  Now this has to do with His power.  The arm of the Lord, the right hand usually, is always the power center of God and I’ve often been reminded His left hand isn’t too bad either.  But His right hand is the arm of power.  And it says, “to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?"  In other words, “Who has seen His power?” 

Well, certainly Israel saw His power again and again, didn’t they?  And in our context here, didn’t they see the power of Jesus Christ to raise people from the dead, to cure the ill, to give eyes to a blind man, to turn water into wine?  Didn’t they see the power of God?  Who’s heard our report?  Why aren’t they believing?  They’ve seen the power of God, why do they persist in unbelief?  In spite of clear prophesy, people will not believe.

39 Therefore they could not believe, because Isaiah said again:

Now, the nation is unable to believe because they constantly rejected God.  They constantly rejected His prophets, they constantly rejected His power, even though they saw those signs and saw the power.  So the consequence we might call a judicial blindness.  They are blind because they persist.  Their hearts become hardened.  They are close minded toward God even though they see these things and hear these things, they don’t believe.  So, verse thirty-nine, in spite of clear prophesy, they would not believe.  Look at verse thirty-nine, “Because they could not believe.”

 The reason they can no longer believe is they persist in unbelief and there comes a point when they cannot believe.  Now, Acts 7:52 corroborates the teaching.  Many places do, this is one good verse.   “Which one of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? They killed those who had previously announced the coming of the Righteous One, whose betrayers and murderers you have now become”

 Again, Acts 28:26:'GO TO THIS PEOPLE AND SAY,"YOU WILL KEEP ON HEARING, BUT WILL NOT UNDERSTAND;
AND YOU WILL KEEP ON SEEING, BUT WILL NOT PERCEIVE;”’
 

When Isaiah was commissioned, he was told, “Look, they’re not going to embrace your message.  They’re going to disregard you, Isaiah.”

And he laments and he wrestles with all this issue.  Was the message of Isaiah to condemn?  The purpose of Isaiah was to draw them to turn and be healed, but the effect of his message was to condemn.  Hear it clearly.  The purpose was to call them to come back to Yahweh.  To return to their God whom they’d broken covenant with.  That was the purpose of his message, but the effect was they didn’t believe, so they’re condemned.  Again and again the Jews revered the prophet’s writing, they read the prophet’s writing, but they rejected the meaning of the prophets. 

 Now think of any prophet in the Old Testament who was embraced by the people of God and followed well.  None.  The only one who got a good reception was Jonah and that was not to the nation of Israel, that was to Nineveh

All men, are destined to hell.  Every one of us is without plea.   We are all sinful.  We all disbelieved until we trusted Christ.  There is no one innocent.  Not one.  So in our depraved, fallen state, we only do what’s natural.  We persist in sin.  Okay?  If a man continues to pursue that evil, if a woman continues to choose willfully to sin, to disbelieve, there comes a time - and I like the way Paul puts it in Romans one, where God gives them over.  Romans 1:24, 1:26, 1:28.  There comes a point in a person’s stubborn unbelief that they’re given over to their nature. 

 40 "He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, Lest they should see with their eyes, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them."

Isa. 6:10, states that God blinds the eyes and hardens the hearts of those who persist in rejecting Christ! This verse is found seven times in the Bible, and each time it speaks of judgment: Isa. 6:10; Matt. 13:14; Mark 4:12; Luke 8:10; John 12:40; Acts 28:26; and Rom. 11:8. It is a repeated warning that reminds the unsaved not to take their spiritual opportunities lightly. “While you have light, believe in the light!” (v. 36) “Seek the Lord while He may be found” (Isa. 55:6, NIV).

John presents the conflict between light and darkness. Light symbolizes salvation, holiness, life; darkness stands for condemnation, sin, death. John speaks of four different kinds of darkness:

 (1) Mental darkness (John 1:5–8, 26). The minds of sinners are blinded by Satan (2 Cor. 4:3–6), and they cannot see spiritual truths.

 (2) Moral darkness (John 3:18–21). The unsaved love sin and hate the light.

 (3) Judicial darkness (John 12:35–36). If men don’t obey the light, God sends the darkness and Christ hides from them.

 (4) Eternal darkness (John 12:46). To “abide” in darkness means to live in hell forever.[1]

The problem is that people take that idea and say that it is true from the beginning, that God chooses some to save and others whom he will not save, and that it doesn't matter what they do, God will not let them hear -- he hardens their hearts and blinds their eyes so they cannot see and believe. But that fails to see that this is referring to the law of the spirit that declares that what you persist in doing is what you will become.

You can demonstrate this in your own life if you care to. Tie your arm to your body and leave it tied, unmovable, for a week. When you untie it you will find that you can hardly move it; it will have lost its ability to function, not because God wants people to lose their arm function. No, but God determined the law that says, "Use it or lose it." That is what this means. It is also true of moral life. If you don't exercise faith when you have the opportunity you will gradually lose the ability to do so, until there will come a day when you cannot exercise faith. By the law of nature, then, God has hardened your heart and blinded your eyes. Having chosen that, that is what you become. If you refuse to act on truth, you will finally lose the ability to recognize it. It has been said,

 There is a line by us unseen, that crosses every path,
The hidden boundary between God's patience and his wrath.

The divine order demands that those who willfully hardened themselves shall be hardened. Pharaoh, for example, hardened his heart. You know what God did? God hardened it for him after that. In the seventh chapter of Exodus in verse 3 the prophecy goes like this, "God said, 'I will harden Pharaoh's heart.'"

Now you say, "Well that's ridiculous, God's going to go over there, make a bunch of plagues and then hardened Pharaoh's heart?"

Yeah, but you know how it happened? God said, "I will harden Pharaoh's heart." Then in chapter 8 verse 32 it says, "Pharaoh hardened his own heart first." And then later on in chapter 9 verse 12 it says, "Then God hardened his heart." In other words, first Pharaoh of his own choice hardened his heart, then God hardened it for him. And God prophesied pass the point of human will to the point of His own involvement, see. God could see the human hardening and then prophesy His own response. And God says toward Israel, "Nobody is going to believe." He is looking past His knowledge of their unbelief to His own judicial decree, leaving them in their unbelief. In other words, God said this is how it's going to be because they're going to refuse and thus I'm going to harden their hearts.

So it's a purpose clause. God says I am going to do it and He did it. But in between God's two sovereign acts, the prophecy of hardening, the act of God hardening, was the choice of Israel to refuse Christ. And He knew they'd do it. So ignorantly and blindly while they thought they were frustrating Jesus' plan,

They were fulfilling prophecy to the very letter and, in fact, bringing about the salvation of the church because if Jesus hadn't died, we wouldn't be saved, right? God knew they would reject and God fit it into His master plan.

The rejection of Israel provided two things. Number one, the death of Christ brought salvation. And number two, that salvation brought the church into existence. Blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles be come in. Israel's partially blind in order that Gentiles might be saved.

In Acts 28 it tells us they didn't believe, they couldn't believe in order that God might redeem His church. And so, Israel was in the plan of God, even in their rejection. They didn't understand the significance of what Jesus did but it didn't frustrate God's plan because God had designed His plan with that in mind.

Now in verse 39, "Therefore...this is strong language, friends...Therefore they could not believe." Why? "Because Isaiah said so." In other words, they were victims of God's sovereign plan and prophecy. They could not believe, now notice in verse 40 who's doing it. Satan's not blinding them here, no. Satan blinded them first, now God is judicially blinding them. "He hath blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts that they should not see with their eyes nor understand with their hearts and be converted and I shall heal them." Do you know that God did not allow the conversion of Israel? Shocking thought. That's a shocking thought.

God actually hardened Israel's heart. Now that's a quote right out of Isaiah chapter 6 verses 9 and 10. That's a prophecy clear back in the sixth chapter of Isaiah hundreds and hundreds of years before this ever happened, God prophesied Israel's hardness.

The terrible consequence of hardening ourselves against the warning of God is that God may someday stop His grace and judicially harden us. You say, "Boy, is God some kind of a monster." No. God is a God of love. He warns. He proclaims the good news of the gospel. He repeatedly states to men the consequence of their unbelief. He constantly cries out to men in love. He provides a sacrifice of sin. He urges them to walk in the light. Remember it, verse 35 Jesus begged them to walk in the light. But when men by their own decision and by refusing repeated warning reject Christ, then and only then God hardens them and those who are not willing to believe are not able to believe. They would not, so they could not. That's a tragedy. The harvest was past, the summer was ended, the sun had set and it was over. Mark it, my friend, it is an inviolable law of God that personal rejection becomes judicial hardening on the part of God. And Isaiah foretold every detail of it word for word.

Unbelief is because of glory.  Unbelief isn’t just because they persist in sin.  Unbelief isn’t just because they the persist in disbelief.  Unbelief is because of glory.  Look at verses forty-one to forty-three:

 41 These things Isaiah said when he saw His glory and spoke of Him.

John explains why Isaiah wrote what he did: “Isaiah said these things because he saw Christ’s glory, and spoke about him.” This is a most striking and important statement. Isaiah saw Christ’s glory, in a way that is not all that different from the way Jesus claimed that Abraham “saw His day and rejoiced” (John 8:56). The “gloryIsaiah saw was not just the Father’s glory, but also the glory of the Son. The “glory” which Isaiah saw was not just the glory of our Lord as He triumphed over His foes, but His “glory” in suffering, as depicted in the “suffering Servant” passage in Isaiah 52 and 53. The Jews of Jesus’ day may not have been able to reconcile the Messiah’s triumph and the tragedy of the cross, but Isaiah did. The Jews of Jesus’ day may not have been able to see how Messiah could both die and live forever, but Isaiah could. And the reason was because Isaiah could see the glory of God in suffering.

But Israel loved the glory of man — and this man in Isaiah 53 was not glorious by their standards. And Israel did not love the glory of God — and this God in Isaiah was infinitely glorious. So when Jesus comes as a suffering Messiah, that’s not what they want. And when he makes claims to be one with the very God of Isaiah 6 that’s not what they want. And so they don’t believe on him. They reject him.

 Then in verse 41, "These things said Isaiah when he saw His glory and spoke of Him." Why did he say that? Why did John throw that in there? Because he wanted the people to know that that prophecy belonged attached to Jesus. The people might have thought...we might have thought, "Well, that didn't refer to Christ." So John throws in verse 41, "Oh yes it does, these things said Isaiah when he saw His glory." Who's? Christ's in Isaiah 6. "And spoke of Him." That prophecy does relate to what a man does with Jesus Christ.

So they had refused the light. Rejected the truth that God judicially hardened them. Boy, it's a solemn thing to remember what God did to Israel here. They're still hardened today, two thousand years later. But what God did to Israel there wasn't anything new for God, He did it in history before, didn't He? He did it to the pre-flood civilization, He did it in Sodom and Gomorrah, He did it again, and again, and again and He's going to do it another time in the great holocaust that comes at His return in the great flaming judgment of the Second Coming. And he may be doing it in your own life individually. God may judicially abandon you as an individual because of repeated refusals to receive His grace.

You see, that's what Isaiah meant in chapter 55 verse 6 when he said this, "Seek ye the Lord while He may be found. Call ye upon Him while He's near." It's one of God's laws that a man who will not believe may reach a point where he cannot believe. And that's a tragedy.

John in his divine pen, pulls on Isaiah’s understanding of glory and suffering with his own understanding of the cross as the ultimate glorification for Jesus Christ.  Isaiah in that passage looked at the suffering servant as Yahweh’s coming.  John in the New Testament looks at that suffering servant as Jesus Christ.  And both the prophesies fold in beautifully with the suffering servant, “My Son who would come,“ and Jesus in the New Testament all colliding and merging in that passage.

 42 ¶ Nevertheless even among the rulers many believed in Him, but because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him,

Lest they should be put out of the synagogue;

Public confession of faith in Jesus is the normal expression of belief in Him (Rom. 10:9-10

Now many of the rulers, verse forty-two (the first part), believe.  It’s not all lost.  It’s not as though the message was entirely rejected.  Many rulers do believe, but not the majority.  Not the preponderance, just a large number, we’re not told how.  But there’s a huge fly in the ointment.  Verse forty-two, the second stanza, “because of the Pharisees.”  They were not going to talk about it for fear of being expelled from the synagogue.  That would be the center of community life to them.  “They loved the approval of man rather that the approval of God.”
Now, some versions of your Bible said, “They love the praise of man, rather than the praise of God.”  Some said they love the “approval.”  Now, there’s a very important textual note.  I want you to look at your Bible for me - with me - for a moment.  Verse forty-one, “Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory.”  The word glory there is doxan.  The root is doxa where we get the English equivalent doxology, right?  A doxology is a praise and honoring and lauding of glory to God.  Doxa is the Greek word that means glory. 

 Now, if you drop down with me to verse forty-three, whether your Bible says “approval” or “praise,” it’s the exact same letter for letter word doxan.  In other words, it says, “they loved the glory of man rather than the glory of God.”  That’s what the text says.

 Isaiah saw the glory of God and he spoke out loud in spite of them not believing, in spite of them not seeing the power of God and not believing the power of God.  He spoke out about the glory of God.  These Jewish leaders will not speak out because of the fear of man.  They love the approval rating.  We might look at Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus as two who fell in that category.  Jewish leaders who, for whatever reason, for fear of the Jews, for fear of being expelled, wouldn’t confess Christ publicly.

Nevertheless," what does that word mean? That means "Even in spite of the sovereignty of God..." Did you get that? Even though God had sovereignly blinded and hardened the nation Israel, nevertheless they were individuals.

Here is free will on the part of man, choice, operating within the sovereignty of God. God's sovereignty over national Israel, yet individual choice. "Nevertheless, among the chief rulers also many believed on Him." You say, "Hey, terrific, a revival!" No. "But because of the Pharisees they did not confess Him lest they be put out of the synagogue for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God."

They weren't saved. They believed the facts but they refused it because they desired the praise of men. Now that's personal choice, my friend. That's the second reason why men don't believe. That's the second cause of unbelief, personal choice. Not only God's plan, but personal choice. And how those two go together, as I say, that's in the mind of God, not in my mind. But they didn't want to lose their prestigious position. They didn't want to lose their place in the synagogue. And after all, they had made the rules themselves back in chapter 9 verse 22, they said, "If anybody follows Christ, we'll put them out of the synagogue." He loses all religious privileges. And so they were stuck with their own rules. They didn't want to do that and they loved the praise of men. They were in a popularity drive.

 43 for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

Some reject Christ because of the fear of man (vv. 42–43). Rev. 21:8 lists the kind of people who will go to hell, and at the head of the list are the fearful. Re 21:8 "But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death."

 Christ will someday hide Himself from those who have no concern for His salvation or His Word. Proverbs 1:20–33 is a good warning to heed.

I think you ought to trade in your popularity with the world for popularity with God. I don't think it's really too important whether the world thinks you're somebody. Jesus said, "What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul?" What's a man going to give in exchange for his soul? See, a man who seeks the world's honor is a living tragedy. James 4 and verse 4, listen to this, "Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God?" Here's the statement, listen, "Whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God." Want to be the enemy of God? Want to happen in your life what God did in Israel of old when He fought against them?

And so, two causes for unbelief...sovereign plan of God and personal choice

And when it comes right down to it, if they were to believe, it would mean that they would have to humble themselves, surrender their own power, surrender their own desires and that‘s the fundamental issue for all of us isn‘t it?

The core is if I acknowledge there may be a God, then I have to change the way I live.  That someone out there is bigger than me, more important than me, and I should submit my will. 

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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 The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL WHO ARE YOU SERVING? IS IT THE DEVIL OR THE LORD

24Jul

 Hi, I’m Marty McKenzie with His Love Ministries in John 8:32 and Romans 6 and As we read through the rest of the Bible we find that it tells us that if we are not saved, we are a slave to sin, a slave to the devil, and in bondage to fear.  Now if we talk to most people they seem to think they are alright with God, they aren’t really that bad a person, they try to keep the ten commandments, and do good to others, after all isn’t that the way to get into Heaven!  No, the Bible says in John 14:6 that Jesus is the only way to get to Heaven and if you aren’t trusting in Him today for your salvation, you need to ask Him to forgive you and save you right now.

    John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

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The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

JOHN 12:20-25 BUT JESUS ANSWERED THEM, SAYING, “THE HOUR HAS COME THAT THE SON OF MAN SHOULD BE GLORIFIED

21Jul

John 12:20 Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast. 21 Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus." 22 Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus. 23 But Jesus answered them, saying, "The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. 24 "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 25 "He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

 In today’s teaching we will see that this is the turning point of Jesus away from the Jews.  The reason for this turning is some Greeks coming to seek Jesus and this apparently is a signal from His Father that Jesus is to completely turn away from them. They do not realize it but it is over for them and there are no more chances for these Jews (religious people) to trust Christ from now on.  Jesus tells them that the way the Son of Man is glorified is that He has to die.  This is where the Jews have it all wrong, they think Jesus is to come and be a Magnificent Savior the first time, but He has come to die for the sins of the whole world.  The way we are please the Father and become ultimately glorified is through our salvation and becoming like God as we die to ourselves and then we can live for Him.  Isn’t it amazing that God has given us seeds as an example of this great truth of dying, so we can really become who we really are made to be in Christ?

 What Drives Your Life?

Baptism is a picture of our choice to be buried with death to self and to be raised with Christ as our focal point.  That’s the point Jesus is trying to make in this passage, isn’t it?

There are those who are further along that road who understand, “My life is to be a thank you back to Christ.  My life is to be a service to Him.”  And there are those who are still fairly preoccupied with self.

Where in life and when in life do we stop to ask, “Am I following God?”

 I hope God, in His kindness, is patient and longsuffering and merciful with us in that process.  But the goal is that we’re serving Him, not ourselves.

 19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, "You see that you are accomplishing nothing. Look, the world has gone after Him!"

 20 Now there were certain Greeks among those who came up to worship at the feast.

With wonderful Johannine form and irony He links the previous section where the Pharisees say, “Look, the whole world is going after Him,” with the Greeks seeking Him.  So, it’s a wonderful touch to the narrative.  They were seeking God, they were seeking Jesus, but they’re not allowed in the temple complex.  It’s an historical fact, incontestable, that at the court of Gentiles there were signs posted that a Gentile could not go further lest he face a death penalty.  It was very strict in Judaism and the temple complex and even a God-fearing Gentile could not go further than that court of the Gentiles.

Ephesians 2:14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,

If you know your Bible, you know in Romans we have a section where Paul talks about Judaism and the Jew having the Gospel presented and then the door closing and opening to the Gentile.  Same issue.  And this is a decisive move in His ministry. 

If you’ve been with us in the study of John, you have heard when we’ve gone through those text about the hour.  He says, “My time is not now, my hour has not yet come, it is not my hour.”  Many times He has said this.  With His mother at the Wedding at Cana.  “It’s not my hour, it’s not My time.  This is not the time.” About 10 times before Jesus goes to the cross

 But now, verse twenty-four, Jesus said, “The hour’s come for the Son of Man to be glorified.”

Let me give you five concepts that the Bible explains what the Son of Man means.

First of all, it means Deity.  He equates Himself with God in John chapter 5:25 and John 5:27.  Jesus says He’s God in an equation almost.  So, its Deity. 

Secondly, its royalty.  This Son of Man, as the Son of Man, will receive royalty.  He will inherit a royal lineage.  He is part of royalty.  Daniel 7:13 and Matthew twenty-six verses sixty-three to sixty-four speak of this.  Jesus makes Himself equivalent in a royal fashion with God.  He’s from nobility, we might say.  Prince William is of a lineage, okay.  Jesus Christ is saying, “I am royalty,” when I say, “Son of Man.” 

Thirdly, He speaks of His humanity.  John 3:14, John 12:23-24 He speaks of His humanity.  As man He will suffer everything man suffers.  There’s never been an emotion you’ve felt, a fear you have worried over, a joy you have celebrated, a pain you have experienced that He has not identified with.  The incarnate part of Jesus Christ, if we can segment it out, the incarnation means He is fully man.  He suffers in every way you’ve ever suffered.  He understands that. 

Fourthly, it embodies His glory.  John 1:51, John 3:13 and others, Jesus declares that He is the only one who has descended from heaven and who will ascend back to heaven; therefore, He’s the only one who can have the glory of God.

 And Fifth, and last, as such, He offers salvation.  Because He’s the Son of Man, He can offer salvation to men.  John 6:27, John 6:53 and 9:35. But the most important note of this, is that every time its used, except one, every time its used, Jesus is the one who uses it. 

It’s a self-reference.  Jesus is the “Son of Man.”  He’s talking about Himself. 

In John’s theology, the suffering of Jesus Christ and His glory are fused together.  It seems strange, but that’s the way John gives us the picture.  It is only through suffering will He be glorified.  Think of it this way, as man, Jesus Christ came as a man, He was not accepted as Jesus.  He was not accepted as King.  He wasn’t followed as God’s Son.  He was crucified as a man.

Jesus Christ, center stage, two criminals executed for shameful offenses.  Whatever the offenses were, it required a death penalty.  And they are ashamed in their exposure and beating and crucifixion.  And so here you have framed shame against the ultimate shame which is the ultimate glory.  These two deserve, He did not.  And in that, He glorifies His Father.  It’s the ultimate manifestation of His humility and glorification.  Full shame, full glory, in John’s theology.

Now this is the most common title in the New Testament when it speaks of Jesus Christ.  “Son of Man.”  Greeks are asking to see Jesus at the Passover celebration. Why here? Why now? I think because God wants to show, and John wants to underline, that Jesus really is the king, not just of Israel, but of the “whole world”—here represented by the Gentiles, these foreigners. In verse 19 the Pharisees say, “The whole world has gone after him.” And now even Greeks are going after him.

21 Then they came to Philip, who was from Bethsaida of Galilee, and asked him, saying, "Sir, we wish to see Jesus."

At His birth, Gentiles came from the east; now at His death, Gentiles come once again. Why does John mention them at this point? Because the King has now been rejected by Israel. The Jews had said, “We want to see a sign!” (Matt. 12:38, NKJV); but the Gentiles said, “We want to see Jesus!”

Does Jesus show himself to them?  Physically, we don’t know. John doesn’t say. But this may be for our sake. Because Jesus does show himself to them the same way he shows himself to us.

He speaks truth about himself that becomes a truth about us. This is how Jesus shows himself in power: he gives truth about himself that becomes truth about us.

 22 Philip came and told Andrew, and in turn Andrew and Philip told Jesus.

 23 But Jesus answered them, saying, "The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.

It is the hour of His death, but He calls it the hour of His glory!

Signifies that Jesus has turned from the Jews to the Gentiles, the whole world

John 1:11 He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.

The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.

Here is the truth about me that matters for Greeks—and for all people—who want to see me and know me:] In other words, I am on my way to glory. I really will be something to see. They are right to want to see me. I will pray for this—that they will see my glory (John 17:20). I will be the most glorious person in the universe when my Father raises me from the dead and gives me a name that is above every name so that at my name every knee will bow—including Jews and Greeks and Americans. Yes, they are right to want to see me—and even want to be identified with me.

 24 "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a (definite article THE speaking of Jesus) grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.

whenever you hear, “truly, truly,” the words Jesus speaks have eternal consequence. 

Christ is the grain of wheat that must die before there can be fruit and the world given the opportunity to be saved.

Notice the article in English.  You have the little article “a.”  It’s a definite article in the original.  it is “the grain of,” Jesus says, “of wheat.”  He’s talking about Himself.  Unless “the” grain of wheat dies, there will be no harvest.

He sees these Greeks as the first fruits, the symbol of the great harvest of earth for which he came.

The world would not see the full outcome of his work and his life until he went to the cross.

My pathway to glory is through death. Do you want to see that? I will indeed bear much fruit—including Greeks. But I will not and I cannot bear this fruit any way but through dying.

That is the truth about Jesus that he reveals to the Greeks—and to us. But now it also becomes a truth about them—and about us. He says in verses 25 and 26: my dying for your salvation is also my design for your imitation.

If you want to see me, be prepared to become like me. Prepare to follow me on the road I am going.

So he says, verse John 12:25,

 25 "He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.

Then he makes the truth about himself a truth about us. Will we hate our lives in this world? Will we follow him on the path to Calvary? Will we serve the Son in this way? Will we let the truth about the Son of Man become truth about us? Will we identify with the one we are so eager to see?

Paradox of Christianity, Life of Opposites

Romans 8:13 For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live., 18

Ga 5:24 And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Col 3:3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Col 3:5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

Ro 6:6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.

Ro 6:11 Likewise you also, reckon yourselves to be dead indeed to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ga 2:19 "For I through the law died to the law that I might live to God. 20 "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

He tells His followers, “You’re going to suffer like I did.”  And in fact, we have some indication historically, maybe not Biblically, in the Bible context, but we do have some fairly good history that some of these men died horrible deaths for the cause of Christ.  And so there was an immediacy in the prediction of His suffering that, “You, too, will suffer.” 
But a disciple is to hate his own life.  What does that mean? 

We’re to hate our life in comparison to our love for Christ.  Remember when Jesus says, “If you don’t hate your mother and father, you’re not fit to follow me,” basically.

 Does He mean you hate your parents?  No, of course not.  What He means is, “If your love to me is not such a wholehearted love that it almost looks like you hate your family, its no love at all.”  The love that you have for Jesus Christ should be so overwhelming that it looks like everything else is unimportant to you.  And if you love your life, you’re going to miss - if you love your things more than anything else, you will miss Him.

Two things become unmistakably clear. One is that this is hard. And the other is that this is glorious or about significance

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

DEVOTIONAL TRUSTING THE LAW OR THE LORD

17Jul

I don’t know why most people think you can be saved by being good enough, doing more good than bad, and by keeping the 10 commandments or just believing that Jesus existed, but the law was only given to show us that we can never be good enough on our own that’s why we need Jesus Christ. I don’t know how that lie got started and I even believed that at one time.  Even when I go to the prisons, they have many programs to straighten people out, but the only correction that is going on there or anywhere else is if Lord does it. Galatians 3:24 says Therefore the law was our tutor to bring us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith.  Have you believed Jesus is God and asked Him to forgive you of your sins?  If you trust Him and Him only as Savior, He can save you from your sins.  Repent and trust in Him today.

Jesus is not a ticket to somewhere he is the one in whom we have our whole being, we live and move and breathe - Acts 17:28

   John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

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JOHN 12:9-19 FEAR NOT, DAUGHTER OF ZION; BEHOLD, YOUR KING IS COMING, SITTING ON A DONKEYS COLT

14Jul

John 12:9 Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. 10 But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also, 11 because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus. 12 The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: "Hosanna! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!' The King of Israel!" 14 Then Jesus, when He had found a young donkey, sat on it; as it is written: 15 "Fear not, daughter of Zion; Behold, your King is coming, Sitting on a donkey's colt." 16 His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him. 17 Therefore the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of his tomb and raised him from the dead, bore witness. 18 For this reason the people also met Him, because they heard that He had done this sign. 19 The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, "You see that you are accomplishing nothing. Look, the world has gone after Him!"

            In this section of Scripture we will see that many of the Jews came to see Him and also Lazarus because he was no longer dead, but alive and well. The chief priests not only want to kill him, but Lazarus also.  When Jesus comes riding into town on a donkey’s colt as Zechariah 9:9 predicts. Also Daniel 9:25-27 predicts the exact day He will do this.  The people do not understand, they are quoting the wrong verses, it says in verse 12 The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, 13 took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: "Hosanna! ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!' The King of Israel!" They are quoting Psalms 118:25-26 which is a verse that speaks of Jesus’s second coming, not His first coming.  The first time Jesus comes it is to die on the cross, the second time He comes as a conquering King.  They want a political Messiah, a conqueror who will deliver them from Roman rule, not save their souls.  I think that is like us so many times, we want a Jesus who will deliver us from trouble, but not one who will deliver us from sin.

  •  The curiosity of the people.

9 Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead.  Says this three times

There they are again, the Jesus watchers, same ones. Back in verse 55 of chapter 11 doing the same thing. Where is He? Oh let's see Him. That's where it's at, Jesus always provides so much entertainment at the Passover and they wanted to see Jesus and they wanted to see Lazarus, this guy who was raised from the dead. Curiosity. Thrill-seekers, sensation-seekers, careless, indifferent, could care less really about the person of Christ, they just swung with the crowd, the mood of the mob just carried them whichever direction.

The vast majority of people who attend churches in America today are Jesus watchers and nothing else. They're spectators. They don't hate Him, they're not hostile Judases and they don't love Him, they're not Mary’s. They're watchers and they sit there and look. And it's a sad thing because the crowd that sits and watches became the crowd that crucified Him.

In Acts chapter 3, this kind of a crowd is designated to us by an illustration. In Acts chapter 3 verse 6 Peter says to this particular man who was lame, "Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have I give thee in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." And he did and he was leaping and praising God, you know, and it was really exciting, all the things that he was doing. And then you come to verse 14 of chapter 4 and you read an astounding statement. Now the man is jumping around and having a great time and the people are there and they see him. It says in verse 14 of chapter 4, "And beholding the man that was healed standing with them, they could say nothing... against it." Now isn't that interesting? What did they want to say? They wanted to say something...what?...against it. You see, they didn't want to believe. They never wanted to believe. Even when they watched, they were only looking for some way to disprove it. You see the negative of it. They saw that the guy jumping around leaping for joy who had been lame and they said, "Um, now how can we say something against that?" see. That's looking at it with the evil eye.

They really like Him." Yeah, well you want to meet them again? Look at them in chapter 19 verse 14, it says this, "And it was the preparation of the Passover about the sixth hour and he saith unto the Jews...Pilate says...Behold your king. And they cried out, 'Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him.' Pilate saith unto them, 'Shall I crucify your King?' The chief priest answered, 'We have no king but Caesar.'" Hypocrites. They hated Caesar. But you see the same crowd watched Him, threw palms at His feet, crucified Him. The mood of the mob. The Jesus watchers. They don't have any thoughts of their own; they just sway along with whichever way the theology goes, knowing nothing. And the tragic comment on them is in Matthew 27:36, they all gathered around the cross and you know what it says? It says this, pathetic, "And sitting down they watched Him there." Still doing the same thing.

Don't just sit there and watch Jesus. That's deadly. Receive Him into your life.

  • The cruelty of the priests

 10 But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also,

The leaders are really in trouble now. I mean, they've got a live man who used to be dead roaming around and he's gathering crowds to Jesus.

Number one, they were threatened politically because, you see, if all these people gathered around Jesus, they might start an insurrection and then the Romans would come down and squash it. Go back to verse 48 of chapter 11. If we let this thing go, they say, all men will believe on Him and the Romans will come and take away our place and our nation. They were afraid that Jesus might get a revolution going and Rome would crush it and throw them all out.

TWO, They were really threatened theologically because......the Sadducees had for years been teaching there was no such thing as resurrection. And here they've got to contend with a guy who resurrected. They were on theological thin ice, friends. I mean, they had been propagating their doctrine of no resurrection and here's a guy who has come back from the dead. So they've got one choice, destroy the evidence.

In these verses, we see the hatred and the love reaching a climax. They're the categories of reactions to Jesus. You can react like Martha and Mary; you can serve Him and love Him. And is it exciting! You can serve Him and love Him. Or you can react like Judas did and just live for materialism, maybe once in a while look to religion and be hypocritical. But it's all a Judas kiss. Or maybe you'd just rather be indifferent, just kind of stand in the back and just kind of look at it all, and that's just as tragic as anything. Or maybe you've even gone so far as to be like those false leaders, you're a false teacher teaching lies and defending yourself by destroying the evidence.

Where are you? You're already somewhere, you've already made a choice. Maybe you can still make another one and choose Christ and remember, Mt 12:30 "He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad. Those who enthusiastically welcome Jesus to Jerusalem as the “King of Israel” are some of the same people who, in a week’s time, will be crying out, “We have no king, but Caesar!” (John 19:15). Those who cry out, “Hosanna!” (Save now!) in our text, will be shouting, “He saved others. Let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, his chosen one!

11 because on account of him many of the Jews went away and believed in Jesus.

Lu 16:31 "But he said to him, 'If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.'"

Five Days Before the Cross

12 ¶ The next day a great multitude that had come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem,

Now by the time we come to verse 12, it's morning on the next day. During the middle of the night Judas has already plotted with the leaders of Israel to betray Jesus. It's only now a matter of finding the right moment at which time Judas can betray Christ into their hands, point Him out, tell them where He is so they can capture Him. But Jesus is not a hunted criminal. Jesus is neither at the mercy of Judas, nor at the mercy of the leaders who want to kill Him. Jesus is no criminal to be subjected to a plot, He is in absolute control of everything that's going on.

Now He knew it was time to die. The time had come not when the world decided He would die, but when He decided it was time to die. The Sanhedrin, the Jewish leaders, had not wanted Christ to be crucified during the Passover time because they did not want unnecessarily to stir up the multitude of people that would have been present. They would much rather have waited till after the Passover when it was a little quieter and that way handle Jesus. But Jesus did it in His own time and forced the whole issue, brought about the whole thing in order that it might happen exactly on the Passover day, fitting that when all the other lambs were being sacrificed, the One true Lamb of God which taketh away the sin of the world would be sacrificed on the very same day that all the rest of the sacrifices were going on. So Jesus was not at the mercy of the plots of men, but rather was bringing about the forcing of the issue of His own death so that it would happen on a day when He planned it and God planned it before the world began, not when the Jewish leaders decided it would happen.

You remember that prior to this time Jesus did not allow Himself to get put into the position where He could die. He avoided very, very strategically the forcing of His death and He did it basically three ways. First way that He avoided death was by avoiding a public display unnecessarily. For example, in Matthew chapter 12 verse 14, "Then the Pharisees went out and held a council against Him how they might destroy Him. But when Jesus knew it, He withdrew Himself from there and great multitudes followed Him and He healed them all and then charged them that they should not make Him known." In other words, one way that He tried to eliminate the confrontation before the right hour, the right time, was to tell people not to say anything or to avoid public display. He went outside the city and did His miracles. And also, I think, is important in the sixteenth chapter of Matthew, the twentieth verse gives us a little bit of the same idea. Matthew 16:20 says, "Then charged He His disciples that they should tell no man that He was Jesus the Christ."

So first of all, He avoided the issue by avoiding public display unnecessarily. Second way that He avoided the issue was just by escaping out of their hands. Back in chapter 6 it tells us in verse 15, John's gospel, "When Jesus therefore perceived they would come and take Him by force to make Him a king, He departed again into a mountain Himself alone." He just disappeared. Then later on a same thing happened in the eighth chapter in the fifty-ninth verse, "They took stones to stone Him, but Jesus hid Himself and went out of the temple going through the midst of them and so passed by." Second way that He avoided the issue was to just directly move right through the crowd and they didn't even know where He went. Miraculous.

The third way, and this perhaps the most interesting of all, the third way that He avoided the confrontation before the right hour was by restricting the ability of His enemies to lay their hands on Him. They couldn't move. They couldn't take Him. They were restricted from doing it. Perhaps the classic example being in chapter 7 when the Jewish leaders sent the temple police to get Him and they couldn't lay their hands on Him, they came back dumbfounded. And all they could say was, "Never a man spoke like that man." And Jesus again and again restricted them from being able to get Him.

So you see at least those three ways Jesus was waiting for the right hour, the right day and the right moment in which He would die, all according to a divine timetable mapped out and planned before the world began. And no plot or plan of man would alter that. And now it was the hour and now it was the time. He is soon to die for the sins of the world at the hands of the world, a strange kind of paradox. And He's going to die on His own time schedule, not theirs.

He deliberately plans and masterminds a demonstration. And as you begin to read through all of the four gospels which record this, you find how Jesus had this demonstration all mapped out. He deliberately presents Himself to Israel for the final time as Messiah. And what Israel had done in rejecting Him up to this point is now crystalized into a kind of permanency because what they do with Him now seals it. And in a last great move, He presents Himself as Messiah to Israel and their final act of rejection just crystalizes all the previous rejections.

Now He knows that the massive demonstration with all of the hosannas being thrown at Him, and all of the people singing the words from the Hallel, Psalm 118, is going just to infuriate the Jewish leaders and He knows it's going to cause them to desire to kill Him more than ever and that's exactly what He wants. He wants to bring their hatred to its own head because it's now time to die. And so here Jesus forces the Sanhedrin to change their timetable and execute Him right in the middle of the Passover, even on the very day of the Passover, contrary to what they had originally desired.

Even in the foolishness and the evil of man, God has the initiative. Like the Old Testament says when God was speaking, He said, "You meant it for evil, but I meant it for good." See. God can actually take the plans of men full of hatred, full of Satan, full of sin and move them for His own glory and honor, the greatest illustration being the cross and all of these events that we're talking about. For example, you have His words in the tenth chapter of John, profound beyond our grasp, where He says in verse 17, "Therefore doth My Father love Me because I lay down My life." Did you get that? Then in verse 18, "No man...what?...taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself." And then over later on in the nineteenth chapter of John, in the tenth verse, "Then saith Pilate unto Him...poor misguided Pilate, a wretched character...Pilate saith unto Him, 'Speakest Thou not unto me?'" In other words, Jesus had the audacity not to answer Pilate. "Knowest Thou not that I have power to crucify Thee and have power to release Thee?" And Jesus gives him a devastating answer saying, "Thou couldest have no power at all against Me except it were given thee from above." Somehow the heinous sin and hate of a depraved man operates within the framework of a sovereign God. Jesus with the Father master planned His own death to coordinate with the hatred of men. And now it was time to make His move, calculate it, lay it out, planned in eternity past.

This was a tearful entry by Jesus, not a triumphal entry

 13 took branches of palm trees and went out to meet Him, and cried out: "Hosanna! 'Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!' The King of Israel!"

They grab palm branches which are always the sign of a conqueror. They're the sign, the symbol of strength, no stronger branch than that palm branch, the symbol of strength and the symbol of salvation, the great salvation that a conqueror brings, one who is coming to save the nation,

Used on this occasion they probably signaled popular belief that Israel's Messiah had appeared

Re 7:9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples, and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands, 10 and crying out with a loud voice, saying, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!"

Jesus does not back off from these Hosannas, He accepts them because they are legitimate, they are justified. He is indeed the King of Israel who cometh in the name of the Lord. He is indeed the only Savior. And He is presenting Himself as Messiah. This is His last great presentation and, in fact, He's introducing them to a Messiah in a completely different way than they anticipated because they were anticipating purely a political Messiah. They were thinking, "Oh, here He comes and at last our political Messiah, He's going to...He's going to throw the yoke of Rome off of us and here we go and we're off and running, national freedom," and all of this. But Jesus even tries to show them that He's not a political Messiah by the way He enters the city, riding on the foal of an ass, the most humble kind of animal, an animal historically had been used as a symbol of peace. He is, in effect, saying, "I'm not your great war hero, I'm the prince of peace," but they don't get the message. He comes as a prince of peace, not to make war but to die. And so He rides into the city and they hail Him.

The words, "Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord," are directly out of Psalm 118, the Hallel, Verse 26, the last of the Hallel Psalms, the praise Psalms. Jews sung them all the time. They still do. And 118 is called "the conqueror's Psalm." So they know this is their conquering Messiah. They are singing the Hallel. They are reciting the words of the conqueror's Psalm while He, in posture, is fulfilling Zechariah 9:9 "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.

John 1:49 Nathanael answered and said to Him, "Rabbi, You are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!"

Revelation 19:11, it says, this, "Behold a white horse and He who sat on it is called faithful and true and in righteousness He judges and makes war."

Hallel being the Psalms 113 through 118 and those are the Psalms that praise God, Hallel from which we get the word hallelujah which is praise. And the 118thPsalm out of the Hallel Psalms, incidentally, every Hebrew boy when he was just a child learned the Hallel, it was so much a part of Jewish life, but the 118thPsalm was the conqueror's Psalm. It was the one that was sung when Simon Maccabaeus came back during the inter-testamental period, the 400 years between the Old and the New Testaments. Simon Maccabaeus had conquered the Syrians and shattered their dominion over the portion called Acra. And when he came back to Jerusalem they call cried out and sung to him Psalm 118. So it was the conqueror's Psalm.

Also, Psalm 118 is a messianic Psalm because it is in that Psalm that it says, "The stone which the builders rejected," talks about that and that's Christ, isn't it? So it's the messianic...they're singing the right Psalm,

 John gives us in this text the two greatest proofs of the Messiahship of Jesus Christ and they're woven right into the very historical account.

There are many ways to prove the Bible is the Word of God. We talk about a lot of them. We talk about experience. We talk about science. We talk about a lot of things, archeology. The two greatest proofs that the Bible is the inspired Word of God are, number one, fulfilled prophecy and number two, miracles. They are the two supreme proofs, the greatest fulfilled prophecy, the second, miracles. Since those are the two greatest proofs of the truth of the Word of God, they are also the two greatest proofs of the truth of the Messiah of God. So what we have here in the presentation of Christ is an emphasis on number one, fulfilled prophecy, and number two, miracles. And by those two emphases John is declaring to the world, "This is Messiah, the Christ of God and it can be verified by His fulfilling of prophecy, and His ability to do miracles." Those are the two classic supreme proofs of deity Messiahship. So we want to see two proofs that verify the claims of Christ: number one, the words of prophecy; number two, the works of power. And that's the outline, just two points...the words of prophecy and the works of power together prove Jesus to be Messiah.

It must have been a massive mob, there's no way to really calculate except there's one account in history around this period when a census was taken in Jerusalem at Passover and when that census, the number of lambs slain at the Passover feast was 256 thousand, five hundred. That's a lot of lambs. That's over a quarter of a million lambs slain at Passover. Now the law of the Passover lamb said that there had to be a minimum...a minimum of ten people per lamb which would make the population of Jerusalem in a conservative figure during Passover somewhere around two million, seven-hundred thousand people. Now that's a massive amount of people and it was spilling out all over the place

And so they cry, and notice what they cry...one word, what is it? "Hosanna," that word means this, it means two words in English, "Save now," that's what it means. This is not a praise nearly as much as it is a prayer. They are saying to Jesus, "O great conqueror, King of Israel, save now," and they're not talking about spiritual salvation, they're talking about political revolution. "Save now," a prayer for deliverance, "Hosanna, save now." Matthew adds that they even called Him "Son of David" so they knew He had the messianic right to be the King. They knew a lot about Jesus. They knew He had the right to be the King, they called Him King. They knew He came from the Lord, "He that cometh in the name of the Lord," they believed...perhaps we ought to say they believed He came from the Lord. It looked like their Messiah had arrived politically.

            It's a joyous occasion, the Messiah has arrived. That's their feeling. God's anointed is here. David's heir is here. Anybody who could raise the dead can handle the Romans. At last we're going to see revolution. Messiah is going to lead a great conquering victory over the Romans. And so all of this massive demonstration takes place while the people in their brain have the idea that Jesus is arriving as a political revolutionary, that the Messiah is going to lead a revolt on a political level. And it's all keyed on the fact that He raised Lazarus from the dead, a monumental miracle. And as we saw last week, when He enters the city He fulfills messianic prophecy, indeed He is the Messiah, just not the Messiah they thought He was. Zechariah said He would ride the foal of an ass, a colt, and that's exactly what He was riding.

 Genesis 49:10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes; And to Him shall be the obedience of the people. said when He arrived the gathering of the people would be to Him and He arrived and sure enough the gathering of the people was to Him, just exactly as the book of Genesis said.

Ge 49:4. It should be the royal tribe, and the tribe from which Messiah the Prince should come: The scepter shall not depart from Judah, till Shiloh come, Ge 49:10. Jacob here foresees and foretells,

 (1.) That the scepter should come into the tribe of Judah, which was fulfilled in David, on whose family the crown was entailed.

 (2.) That Shiloh should be of this tribe--his seed, that promised seed, in whom the earth should be blessed: that peaceable and prosperous one, or the Savior, so others translate it, he shall come of Judah. Thus dying Jacob, at a great distance, saw Christ's day, and it was his comfort and support on his death-bed.

 (3.) That after the coming of the scepter into the tribe of Judah it should continue in that tribe, at least a government of their own, till the coming of the Messiah, in whom, as the king of the church, and the great high priest, it was fit that both the priesthood and the royalty should determine. Till the captivity, all along from David's time, the scepter was in Judah, and subsequently the governors of Judea were of that tribe, or of the Levites that adhered to it (which was equivalent), till Judea became a province of the Roman empire, just at the time of our Savior’s birth, and was at that time taxed as one of the provinces, Lu 2:1. And at the time of his death the Jews expressly owned, We have no king but Caesar. Hence it is undeniably inferred against the Jews that our Lord Jesus is he that should come, and that we are to look for no other; for he came exactly at the time appointed. Many excellent pens have been admirable well employed in explaining and illustrating this famous prophecy of Christ.

Daniel 9:24-27 said that exactly 483 years from the decree of Artaxerxes in 445 B.C. Jesus would enter into Jerusalem, and exactly 483 years to the very day on the 360thday of the 483rdyear, and you remember the Jewish calendar was 360-day years, on the very day Jesus entered Jerusalem, that was the very day that Daniel 9:24-27 had prophesied 483 years from the decree of Artaxerxes. THE day, the sixth of April, 32 A.D. when Jesus rode into the city of Jerusalem was exactly 173 thousand, 880 days from the decree of Artaxerxes, you divide that up, that equals exactly 483 years of 360 days each, to the very day. If you want to read about it, Sir Robert Anderson, his book The Coming Prince, he marshals all the proofs that Jesus came into Jerusalem exactly on the 360thday of the 483rdyear of that prophecy. So Jesus when He entered into the city fulfilled to the very letter the messianic prophecies regarding the arrival of God's anointed. And the people were sure that the kind of power that Jesus displayed could only be displayed by one from God. And they felt this must be our Messiah, even though Jesus tried to illustrate something to them by riding on this colt of a donkey, rather than on a white horse, He was not coming as a warrior, He was coming as a prince of peace. But they didn't get the illustration, they didn't understand it, not even the disciples understood it. And they continued to hail Him as a conquering hero who was going to be the political ruler who would overthrow Rome and oppression and set up the great Kingdom through which the Jews would rule the world.

Luke 19:39, just listen to this, some of the Pharisees from among the multitude, really shook up, so they say, "Master, rebuke Your disciples...stop all this nonsense, see, don't let them hail You like this. Tell them to be quiet." Oh, they don't like it a bit. Oh I love the answer of Jesus...oh, powerful. "He answered and said unto them," and I'm sure He had to say it loud because everybody was yelling. "I tell you that if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out." Oh don't you like that? I mean, this is the day to hail the King, friend, and if you shut the mouths, the rocks will shout. This is God's day.

Lu 19:41 Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, "If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 "For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, 44 "and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation."

It was Titus Vespasian who came and leveled the city and murdered one-million-one-hundred-thousand Jews. And Daniel 9:26 even prophesied that, doesn't it?

But when Jesus came, in fulfillment of the prophecies that he would come as King, he was not riding on a war horse but on a donkey, a symbol of peace. His only scepter was a broken reed, his only crown a crown of thorns, his only throne a bloody cross. This whole scene is telling us that outward appearance means nothing to God when the heart is defiled and unyielded to him.

16 His disciples did not understand these things at first; but when Jesus was glorified, then they remembered that these

things were written about Him and that they had done these things to Him.

  17 Therefore the people, who were with Him when He called Lazarus out of his tomb and raised him from the dead, bore witness.

 18 For this reason the people also met Him, because they heard that He had done this sign. <semeion>.

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

DEVOTIONAL O LORD, HEAR! O LORD, FORGIVE! O LORD, LISTEN AND ACT

10Jul

I believe we could apply Daniel 9:18-19 like this. "O my God, incline Your ear and hear; open Your eyes and see our desolations, and the church which is called by Your name; for we do not present our supplications before You because of our righteous deeds, but because of Your great mercies.19 "O Lord, hear! O Lord, forgive! O Lord, listen and act! Do not delay for Your own sake, my God, for Your church and Your people are called by Your name." This prayer by Daniel and the previous verses show us why the church is in the state it is in.  We Christians like Israel have done wickedly and God has allowed us to become captives to the world and sins that we have not repented of.  I believe if we were to repent and cry out to God like Daniel did He would begin to work mightily through the Church and Christians again.

    John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

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The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

JOHN 12:4-10 THEN SAID JESUS, LET HER ALONE: AGAINST THE DAY OF MY BURYING HATH SHE KEPT THIS.

7Jul

John 12:4 Then one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, who would betray Him, said, 5 "Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?" 6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it. 7 But Jesus said, "Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial. 8 "For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always." 9 Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead. 10 But the chief priests plotted to put Lazarus to death also.

 In This message we will see Mary and Jesus rebuked by Judas and the disciples for her anointing the feet of Jesus for His burial.  Judas speaks for the first time in the Scriptures and shows his true nature.  He pretends to care for the poor, but God through the pen of John tells us this he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take what was put in it. Here we see Jesus tells them you need to get your priorities in order because I always come first in everything.  Mark 12:30 'And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment. Have you given Jesus first place in your life today?  If not, why not?

 4 Then one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son ?, who would betray Him, said,

Why Father mentioned

5 "Why was this fragrant oil not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?"

The cold, calculated, deadly hatred of Judas

 He needed some money to compensate for three wasted years so when he sees the love of Mary, it activates his love for money and he bursts out and reveals his feelings by belittling the waste of money. And it's interesting that the other gospels tell us that the other disciples joined in with him. Evidently he was a very persuasive person, that's probably why he got elected treasurer and had been embezzling the money all along.

            The first words ever in the New Testament recorded from his mouth are verse 5, "Why was not this ointment sold for 300 denarii and given to the poor?" What a waste, 300 denarii was a lot of money, I mean, that was 300 days wages, a denarius a day. He was ready to get 300 denarii and take away the gift of Mary's love, but that's not unusual, he just turns right around after this and sells Jesus for 30 pieces of silver which amounts to about twenty dollars. He lived with money on the brain. The first words he ever said indicated the rottenness of his heart, the last words he ever said, remember them in Matthew 27:4 where he says in total remorse, "I have betrayed innocent blood." Went out and hanged himself

One can hardly read the Gospel accounts of this incident without concluding that, while these men are rebuking Mary for her reckless waste of resources, their words are also intended as a rebuke to our Lord. First, if this is truly a “waste,” then Jesus must not be worth the value of the perfume. Second, it is our Lord who is being anointed. If it is wasteful and unnecessary, He should make her stop.

 6 This he said, not that he cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the money box; and he used to take

what was put in it.

John tells us a very important detail, not revealed to us by either Matthew or Mark: the one who incites the disciples to anger is Judas. Now things start to make sense. John not only informs us that Judas is behind all this reaction, he also informs us as to why. Judas, John indicates, is a thief. Now here is a bit of information we find nowhere else in the New Testament; yet this one bit of information causes all of the other pieces to fall into place. Judas was never a believer. He does not know the love of God, nor does he show it. In this sense, Judas is very different from the other eleven disciples. But in another way, Judas is really very much like the rest of the disciples, at least up to this point in time. The truth is that they do not understand what our Lord is about, either. Like Judas, they do not expect Jesus to die on the cross of Calvary. They do what they can to prevent it (e.g., Peter rebukes Jesus for talking about such things, and he slices off the servant of the High Priest’s ear with his sword.) Over and over again, we see the disciples preoccupied with their own selfish ambitions. They hope our Lord’s kingdom will enhance their status and power. They argue amongst themselves as to who is the greatest. No wonder Judas does not stick out like a proverbial sore thumb. In fact, Judas fits right in! No wonder they trust him with the money bag and are even inclined to follow his lead in attacking Mary for being wasteful.

Judas follows our Lord. He witnesses His power and hears His teaching. He is even given the power to perform miracles himself! (see Matthew 10:1ff.; Luke 9:1-2).

If this nard were sold (instead of “squandered on Jesus”), it would have meant a very tidy commission for Judas. He is angry. In his mind, a part of what she is “wasting” on Jesus is his. She has no right! She must be stopped!

Judas is without question the tragedy of history and thus the tragedy of eternity. And the reason he's a tragedy, listen to this, is because he lived three years of his life in proximity to truth like no other man except eleven more had ever lived. That man for three years lived every day with Jesus. And I imagine the remorse in his soul as he's in hell right now must be unbelievable because of the proximity to the truth. And only his history remains and it's not to be a discouragement, it's to be a warning to men who live in the proximity to truth to be sure that they apprehend that truth, lest they spend an eternity in hell and remorse like Judas. Judas lived in the sunlight of the very Son of God and his life ended in the blackest darkness of hell.

            Judas is no solitary monster standing alone in the world, there have been a million-million Judases, all the time there are Judases, many men who sell Jesus.

You say, "I never sell Christ. I never betrayed Christ." Oh yeah, for anybody who doesn't receive Jesus Christ as Savior, you're selling Him. Whatever it is that keeps you from inviting Christ into your life is the price that you're selling Christ for.

It would have been bad enough if Jesus had only been kissed by one Judas, He's been kissed a thousand-thousand times the same way.

Jesus’ response in Mary’s defense is a rebuke to His disciples, and particularly to Judas, who instigated their protest. John does not tell us about Judas’ meeting with the chief priests, but both Matthew and Mark do. Judas is still the entrepreneur par excellence. He seizes upon any opportunity to make money. Has Mary “cheated” him out of his commission? Has Jesus taken her side? Well, Judas is about finished with Jesus anyway. His “kingdom” is not Judas’ kind of kingdom. There will be no real money in it for Judas, and besides, Jesus is on a collision course with the Jewish religious leaders. His days are numbered; His kingdom doomed to fail. Such seems to be the thinking of Judas.

So Judas decides to “swap horses in mid-stream” as we say. Judas decides to sell Jesus out and to join forces with His enemies.

 7 But Jesus said, "Let her alone; she has kept this for the day of My burial.

Let her alone. Stern, that's imperative in the Greek, let her alone. "For the day of My burial hath she kept this." And there's almost a pensive tragic prophecy of His death. "Let her alone, she's doing this because of My burial." Oh she loved Him so much and yet Judas fosters this kind of animosity and Jesus rebukes Judas and in the statement He unmasks Judas' hypocrisy. He doesn't even answer the issue.

And isn't it sad that even in the expression of her love is inherent in that is His death? She was preparing Him for burial while Judas was preparing in his mind to betray Him.

 8 "For the poor you have with you always, but Me you do not have always."

Jesus had a lot to say about caring for the poor and rightly should we care for the poor.

In other words, He says, "Can't you see priorities, friends?" He says to His disciples, "Can't you see priorities? I'm not going to be around very long. Poor people are important, we want to care for poor people, but I come first. I mean, which is more important, the poverty program or the glorification of the Son of God? And you've only got six days for Me, the poor you're going to have with you always."

Do you really love Him? Do you understand priorities? What do you spend your time doing? Worrying about politics or loving Jesus?

Here was his decisive moment. Christ had unmasked him in Christ's mind, Judas knew he was discovered. Now Judas had a choice. First of all, he could cast himself at Jesus' feet in penitential tears. He could confess his lost condition and his sin and he could seek mercy at the throne of grace. That's one option. Second option, his pierced pride could swell up to greater pride and he could go the opposite direction, becoming willfully hardened by Satan himself to betray Jesus. He chose the latter.

Mary of Bethany is in fact another of the timeless, representative figures so wonderfully portrayed in this Gospel. She is a type of the true Christian worshipper, even as the sinful woman in the very different anointing story in Luke vii. 36-50 is a type of the true Christian penitent.[1]

When you stop to think about it, Mary’s act of adoration and worship looks a lot like what we will be doing in heaven, for all eternity. There, we will cast the most precious things we have at His feet:

Revelation 4:1-11

In the light of our expectation of worshipping Him for all eternity, we would do well to imitate Mary, and thus to practice our worship in the present.

I would suggest that we may not have much time left either, until He comes again. We should make good use of our time, even as Mary does in our text, and employ ourselves in doing that which pleases Him, since ministry as we know it presently will no longer be possible.

Matthew 25:31-45).

First, her worship is spontaneous, and not commanded. Mary’s worship is her own spontaneous response to our Lord, given that moment in time and her love for Him. The Old Testament law has many commandments related to worship, but what Mary does goes above and beyond them all. Love prompts what law can never produce.

Second, Mary’s worship is selfless, sacrificial, and even extravagant. If “worship” is about our Lord’s “worth-ship,” as indeed it is, then nothing we can ever do will be worthy of the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ. Here is a woman whose worship reflects her grasp of the majesty and greatness of our Lord Jesus Christ. She gives the finest thing that she has, willingly, cheerfully, and eagerly. Her giving is no mere duty, begrudgingly carried out; this is her delight. Had she something of greater value to give, I have no doubt she would have given it to her Lord.

Third, Mary worshipped her Lord extravagantly, by giving something that she had to give.

Fourth, I must reluctantly point out that Mary’s worship is criticized and even opposed by those who know and love the Savior. Let us be very careful about hindering the worship of others, as the disciples are doing with Mary.

Fifth, I call to your attention that Mary’s worship is not something she does in a way which attracts attention to herself, but something privately done at our Lord’s feet. I am impressed that almost every time we find Mary in the Gospels, we find her at Jesus’ feet. She is learning from Jesus, at His feet, in Luke 10 (see verse 39). When Jesus comes to Bethany after Lazarus dies, Mary falls at His feet (John 11:32). Now, in chapter 12, she is once again at our Lord’s feet, anointing them with her precious oil. How the disciples push and shove to be beside our Lord, at His right hand or His left (see 13:1-11), but no one wants to be at His feet—except Mary, and perhaps a few other women. There is always room at Jesus’ feet, room to do humble, menial, yet needful things. And there is no place better suited for service and worship than there, at His feet.

Our Lord teaches that those things we do publicly, when done for public acclaim and approval, receive man’s approval, but not His. He also indicates that those things done privately, but done for His praise, are those things that please Him, and bring about His praise (Matthew 6). Mary’s worship is consistent with our Lord’s instruction about acts of worship.

Sixth, I cannot help but wonder if Mary’s sacrificial worship does not have an impact on the Apostle Paul. I wonder if Paul’s words here have any relationship to this act of worship by Mary:

Philippians 4:15-18, 15 And as you Philippians know, at the beginning of my gospel ministry, when I left Macedonia, no one shared with me in this matter of giving and receiving except you alone. 16 For even in Thessalonica on more than one occasion you sent something for my need. 17 It is not that I am seeking a gift. Rather, I seek the credit that abounds to your account. 18 For I have received all things, and I have plenty. I have all I need because I received from Epaphroditus your gifts, a fragrant offering, an acceptable sacrifice, very pleasing to God

Finally, Mary’s worship of our Lord in our text has something important to say to us about the ministry of women. Our Lord made a point of breaking some of the cultural taboos regarding women (see John 4:27). none of the truly biblical restrictions on the worship or service of Mary hinder her from knowing Jesus well or worshipping Him. Indeed, she does better at this than His disciples do, it seems! Mary seems to be more in tune with our Lord’s teaching than the men who follow Him.

  1. Love Doesn’t Count The Cost
  2. Nothing Done For Christ Is Wasted – Judas wasted his whole life

The sacrifice she made

The example she portrayed

The fragrance she produced

The message she preached

A message of love

A message of grace

I am not at all shocked or surprised that Mary willingly sacrifices her most prized possession in her worship of the Lord. He is worthy of the best we can offer. In fact, the best we can offer is not worthy of Him. What causes me to wonder is how God could give His most precious possession to save unworthy creatures like us. He gave His own Son, the most precious gift of all, so that we might be saved. Our Lord gave His most precious gift—His priceless blood—so that He might forgive our sins and give us eternal life. That is the great wonder, which inspires worship like that of Mary. May it also inspire our worship as well. Have you received His gift, His precious gift the Lord Jesus Christ? To reject that gift—to reject the saving work of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary—is to spurn the most precious gift God has given to us.

If you had only one week to live and knew it how would you spend your time?  Look at what Jesus did, He spent it with His closest friends.

  • The curiosity of the people.

9 Now a great many of the Jews knew that He was there; and they came, not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might also see Lazarus, whom He had raised from the dead.  Says this three times

There they are again, the Jesus watchers, same ones. Back in verse 55 of chapter 11 doing the same thing. Where is He? Oh let's see Him. That's where it's at, Jesus always provides so much entertainment at the Passover and they wanted to see Jesus and they wanted to see Lazarus, this guy who was raised from the dead. Curiosity. Thrill-seekers, sensation-seekers, careless, indifferent, could care less really about the person of Christ, they just swung with the crowd, the mood of the mob just carried them whichever direction.

The vast majority of people who attend churches in America today are Jesus watchers and nothing else. They're spectators. They don't hate Him, they're not hostile Judases and they don't love Him, they're not Mary’s. They're watchers and they sit there and look. And it's a sad thing because the crowd that sits and watches became the crowd that crucified Him.

In Acts chapter 3 this kind of a crowd is designated to us by an illustration. In Acts chapter 3 verse 6 Peter says to this particular man who was lame, "Silver and gold have I none, but such as I have I give thee in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk." And he did and he was leaping and praising God, you know, and it was really exciting, all the things that he was doing. And then you come to verse 14 of chapter 4 and you read an astounding statement. Now the man is jumping around and having a great time and the people are there and they see him. It says in verse 14 of chapter 4, "And beholding the man that was healed standing with them, they could say nothing... against it." Now isn't that interesting? What did they want to say? They wanted to say something...what?...against it. You see, they didn't want to believe. They never wanted to believe. Even when they watched they were only looking for some way to disprove it. You see the negative of it? They saw that the guy jumping around leaping for joy who had been lame and they said, "Um, now how can we say something against that?" see. That's looking at it with the evil eye.

They really like Him." Yeah, well you want to meet them again? Look at them in chapter 19 verse 14, it says this, "And it was the preparation of the Passover about the sixth hour and he saith unto the Jews...Pilate says...Behold your king. And they cried out, 'Away with Him, away with Him, crucify Him.' Pilate saith unto them, 'Shall I crucify your King?' The chief priest answered, 'We have no king but Caesar.'" Hypocrites. They hated Caesar. But you see the same crowd watched Him, threw palms at His feet, crucified Him. The mood of the mob. The Jesus watchers. They don't have any thoughts of their own, they just sway along with whichever way the theology goes, knowing nothing. And the tragic comment on them is in Matthew 27:36, they all gathered around the cross and you know what it says? It says this, pathetic, "And sitting down they watched Him there." Still doing the same thing.

Don't just sit there and watch Jesus. That's deadly. Receive Him into your life.

  John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL SEEKING GOD FIRST

3Jul

In Mt 6:33 Jesus said, But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Many of us are trying to be satisfied and get what we want and think we need through the world’s methods.  Yet we are in constant need and are never satisfied because we are going about life the wrong way. The principle Jesus gave us is that if we will seek Him first in all of our life’s pursuits and His holiness then He will supply the things we need.  Jesus said to give to Him first and He will open the heavens and pour out a mighty blessing.  Have you tried giving your all to God first?

    John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

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JOHN 12:1-3 THEN MARY TOOK A POUND OF VERY COSTLY OIL OF SPIKENARD, ANOINTED THE FEET OF JESUS, AND WIPED HIS FEET WITH HER HAIR.

30Jun

John 12:1 Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. 2 There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. 3 Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.

We are looking at a passage today that is very familiar to us, but as always we need to make sure we don’t think that we know it all, none of us do.  Jesus is down to the last week of His life and He is having supper with Lazarus and the sisters Mary and Martha.  Martha is serving as usual and Lazarus is being honored by being at the table after having been raised from the dead.  The keystone of this passage is Mary takes a very costly perfume, breaks the bottle and pours it all out on Jesus and wipes His feet with her hair.  First of all, she gave her best and greatest gift when she poured out her costly perfume, probably worth $20,000 - $25,000 at our rate of exchange today.  Also, this was her whole wealth and all her savings she had in this world.  Then, she also used her hair which speaks of a woman’s glory.  She humbled herself and anointed Jesus for His burial with her perfume and her hair.  How about you, are you giving Jesus your best and your all and humbly bowing down and worshipping Him?

Mt 26, Mark 14, Luke 19.

Here in this little incident in Bethany in the first eleven verses we see it. We see love like we haven't seen before. We see love that is extravagant. We see love that is unbounded. We see love that knows no limits. We see love that's totally self-sacrificing. And at the same time that we see that, we see the hatred of those who were His enemies and it reaches its depths. It penetrates even the inner circle of the Twelve and one of His own spews out venom on Christ. So here in response to the miracle of the raising of Lazarus, love blooms and venom of hate brews its poison and the contrast is just as wide as two individuals...Mary, on the one hand, and Judas on the other hand. And that's a mystery. How you can take two people who lived with the same Christ, walk the same steps, heard the same message, experienced His same love and all of His miracles and out of that same experience have a Judas and a Mary is mystery. And it must indicate to you something of the depth of sin that must have been in the life of Judas. Out of the same sphere they both came.

And the result of these three years is that among His own, first of all, there has been a deepening awakening to who He really is. And after the climactic raising of Lazarus from the dead, those that are His beloved, the sheep of His fold, have come to the convincing awareness that this is indeed the Son of God. But on the other hand you have the steady hardening of unbelief, the same three years that melted the heart of those who were His own hardened the hearts of His enemies and you have increasing hostility until both of them come to a gigantic climax in chapter 12. You have the love that has been growing for those years in full bloom and you have the hatred that has been festering for years throwing out its total poison here in chapter 12.

A good-sized group of Jews have come to Bethany from Jerusalem to mourn the death of Lazarus with his surviving sisters, Martha and Mary. These folks are at the grave of Lazarus when Jesus summons him from death and the grave. It is a most amazing thing, and it does not take long for word of this miracle to spread throughout Jerusalem and Judea. As the time for the Passover draws near, there is an air of excitement and anticipation, fueled greatly by out Lord’s raising of Lazarus:

John's point in writing this gospel was to show the world that Jesus is God in a human body. His sub-theme then was to show how men reacted and responded to that claim, you see. So his theme is Christ is God, his sub-theme is how men reacted. And on every page we've seen him presenting Christ as God again and again and again and again and right along with it we've seen how men reacted, haven't we? And we see the softening of the hearts of those who love them and the hardening of the hearts of those who hate Him until they have reached the extremities and we come to the climax of love and the climax of hate in this chapter.

1 Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead.

it was Saturday, that puts the next day, which is in verses 12 and 13, commonly called Palm Sunday on Sunday when we feel it should be and then Christ's death on Friday.

But it is six days until Passover, according to John...six precious days. Christ had spent three years giving Himself to the world and now He's got six days to give Himself to His own. Now during the time He was ministering to the world He was ministering to His own as well, but here are six concentrated days with His own. Six days to tie their hearts together. Six days to build their faith. Six days to teach them what to do and how to respond when He dies. Six days to be with them. And the first of those six days He also includes His beloved friends at Bethany. And so we find Him at Bethany.

You notice that the village is identified because of its relationship to the power of Jesus Christ.

 Lu 13:14 But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, "There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day."

6 Days for man to do his work, his worst to kill Christ, the Sabbath will be God’s day to do His work of redemption?

And for one of those days, at least, He seeks the warmth and the love of His friends at Bethany. But sadly, even in the midst of the love and the warmth of the scene, He is stabbed by the sharp, hurting spear of hell as Judas comes to the fore and reveals himself as the traitor. And as you read this story and you can almost feel in the heart of Christ the desire for the warmth and the fellowship and for just a day, at least, to escape the hatred, but the hate is relentless at this point, it doesn't give up. Everywhere He goes and every turn He makes, the hate is there, even to the extent of penetrating His own disciples. So He arrives in Bethany.

 2 There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him.

So Matthew and Mark tell us it occurred at the house of Simon the leper and even Martha, not even in her own house, is busy serving.  Simon may have been their father who was a leper, but was now healed.

There wasn't anywhere to go, no hurry, nothing was happening, no activity. In those days people just got to know people. They just shared together. They weren't in a hurry to get everywhere and this meal would be a lengthy meal as they would share and talk.

Re 19:9 Then he said to me, "Write: 'Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!'" And he said to me, "These are the true sayings of God."

There are really only two things that make service worth anything. Number one, if it's in love and number two, if it's in the glory of Christ. And her's was. She did it for Jesus and she did it because she loved Him. That's the kind of service you like. That's the kind that God honors. Simple service.

Mt 20:26 "Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. 26 "If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.

Ac 20:19 "serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews;

3 Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.

Martha Serves, but Mary Worships.

Her Extravagance – Nard may have been her dowry or rainy day money, sometimes used like a bank fund.

The word charity in the old days charity used to mean love, nowadays it means giving something...giving someone something valuable. But let's be real honest about it, if you love somebody, that's what you wind up doing, right? It's no wonder the word came to mean that, donating or giving something which is an expression of love

            The Holy Spirit goes into all these details as if the Holy Spirit wants to measure the act of Mary's love, you know, just line it out in every little detail so that the mention of her love is visible. It's almost like the divine Holy Spirit is putting a stamp of approval on this deed, and, in fact, that's exactly what He's doing.

            Now she gave spikenard, now the essence of this kind of ointment came from nard and that's something that grew up in the Himalayas between China and Tibet and it had to be brought out of there on the backs of camels and brought all the way down the Himalaya mountains and all the way to Israel and then put together in some kind of an ointment and put in some kind of an alabaster box or jar, as the other writers tells us and then sold. Well that's a costly operation for a little bit of ointment. And it was a very, very expensive commodity, a luxurious possession, one of those things you have and you never want to use it. You realize if you use it it's costing you a fortune so you just sit it there and it still costs you a fortune and it doesn't do you any good.

Her Humility

1Co 11:15 But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her; for her hair is given to her for a covering.

Then in shocking disregard for Jewish tradition, she knelt down at His feet and she had poured it on His feet and it was beginning to drip and she let her hair out, and you never did that, that was strictly a no-no. No Jewish woman ever let her hair down in front of men and she did that. And not only did she do that, but still allowing her heart to do the speaking, she took her hair and began to wipe that which was dripping off His feet. Now you don't plan something like that. She was just wrapped in the emotion of the thing and she poured this all out and it started to drip and she didn't know and she just started to wipe His feet and it was all just love gushing everywhere. That's real love.

2 Samuel 24:24 Then the king said to Araunah, "No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God with that which costs me nothing." So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.

His heart was just full of joy at her love, He could measure her love by that, couldn't He? She had just tried to find some way that she could pour out everything she had in terms of love and relieve herself of that love that wanted to do something. And so she poured it all over Christ, a burst of love.

She loved Jesus so much she could have cared less what anybody else thought.

Boy, what could be done if we all had that kind of uncontrollable love to pick out the most precious commodity we have in the world that we're saving up for some rainy day and just say, "Here, it belongs to You, Jesus, all of it." How sweet it must have been and how Jesus' heart must have been filled with that love that Mary was giving Him.

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL GOD IS NEAR TO ALL WHO CALL ON HIM IN TRUTH

26Jun

In Ro 10:6-7 Paul says some are asking who will bring Christ down from above or descend into the grave, to bring Him up so they can be saved. They did not believe Christ came to earth and was resurrected. The way of salvation is not difficult or complicated. We do not have to go to heaven to find Christ, or into the world of the dead. He is near to us. He says the Gospel is available to all. The sinner doesn’t need to perform works to be saved.  God has already done that in the incarnation and resurrection of Jesus. All we have to do is accept what God has done for us in Christ. Have you trusted in Him yet?

    John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

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JOHN 11:45-57 NOR DO YOU CONSIDER THAT IT IS EXPEDIENT FOR US THAT ONE MAN SHOULD DIE FOR THE PEOPLE, AND NOT THAT THE WHOLE NATION SHOULD PERISH

23Jun

John 11:45 Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did, believed in Him. 46 But some of them went away to the Pharisees and told them the things Jesus did. 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, "What shall we do? For this Man works many signs. 48 "If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation." 49 And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at all, 50 "nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish." 51 Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation, 52 and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad. 53 Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death. 54 Therefore Jesus no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim, and there remained with His disciples. 55 And the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went from the country up to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves. 56 Then they sought Jesus, and spoke among themselves as they stood in the temple, "What do you think--that He will not come to the feast?" 57 Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a command, that if anyone knew where He was, he should report it, that they might seize Him. (NKJV)

 In this section of Scripture we see the result of the Pharisee’s hatred for Jesus.  He has raised Lazarus from the dead and instead of them being happy for Lazarus and excited about what Jesus had done, they decide that this is the last straw and they want to kill him for all His miracles.  It is amazing how people will react when their authority, prestige and power are threatened.  These Pharisees cannot let Jesus take these away from them.  They have to be the great and mighty Pharisees.  We see some believe, but they are like those in Chapter 6 who after being fed with 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread go looking for Jesus again the next day and Jesus says to them you are not looking for me for the right reason, you just want more food.  They like Jesus as long as He heals them, or feeds them, or satisfies some need they have, just like most of us today.  We like that Jesus, but we don’t like the Jesus of the Bible, Him you can keep.  We like His miracles; we just don’t like His message.  Just like they decide to kill Him, many today want to wipe out all remnants of Jesus in our society.  They don’t want to hear that name or even the name of God which is who Jesus is.

 45 Then many of the Jews who had come to Mary, and had seen the things Jesus did, believed in Him.

46 But some of them went away to the Pharisees and told them the things Jesus did.

Again Jesus' words and works divided the Jews (cf. 6:14-15; 7:10-13, 45-52; 10:19-21

All men are dead

All need a spiritual birth that only comes from god

Men are born again by the Word of God – Lazarus come forth

When God gives life, He gives eternal life

When God gives life, He wants to give freedom – unbind him and let him go

We are to call forth the dead and unwrap the saints, take off the old man, clothes, put on the new man

Celebration at beginning – wedding

Sorrow at the end – a funeral

Martha has incredible faith, she just cannot see how it will work out

We are being trained to do that which God wants us to do, will we stand on the sidelines and watch others do great things for God or will we be a participant. 22 football players in need of a rest and 22,000 fans on the sideline in need of something to do.

 47 Then the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered a council and said, "What shall we do? For this Man works many signs.

It is interesting that they admitted privately that Jesus had performed many signs, though publicly they had earlier asked Him to produce some to prove His claims (2:18; 6:30).

"It has always been the case that those whose minds are made up to oppose what Christ stands for will not be

convinced by any amount of evidence.

 48 "If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation."

The reference to "our place" was probably to the position of authority they occupied. A popular uprising resulting from the Jews' belief that Israel's political deliverer had appeared might bring the Romans down hard on Israel's leaders and strip them of their power. These rulers viewed Israel as their nation rather than God's nation, and they did not want to lose control of it or their prestige as its leaders. No one mentioned the welfare of the people in such an event (cf. 10:8).

 49 And one of them, Caiaphas, being high priest that year, said to them, "You know nothing at all,

 50 "nor do you consider that it is expedient for us that one man should die for the people, and not that the whole nation should perish."

Caiaphas viewed Jesus as a scapegoat whose sacrifice would guarantee the life of Israel's leaders. God viewed Jesus as a lamb who would die to guarantee the life of believers. Ironically Jesus' death would condemn these unbelieving leaders, not save them.

 51 Now this he did not say on his own authority; but being high priest that year he prophesied that Jesus would die for the nation,

 52 and not for that nation only, but also that He would gather together in one the children of God who were scattered abroad.

Caiaphas unconsciously prophesied that Jesus would die as a substitute for the Israelite nation (cf. Isa 53:8 He was taken from prison and from judgment, And who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.). The outcome of His death would be the uniting of God's children scattered abroad, non-members of Israel as well as Jews, into one body, namely, the church (cf. 4:42; 10:16; Eph. 2:14-18;

Eph 3:6 that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, of the same body, and partakers of His promise in Christ through the gospel,;

 1Pe 2:9 But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;). Ultimately it would unite Jewish and Gentile believers in the messianic kingdom.

 Isa 43:5 Fear not, for I am with you; I will bring your descendants from the east, And gather you from the west;

Eze 34:12 "As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep and deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy and dark day.

 53 Then, from that day on, they plotted to put Him to death.

John did not record Jesus' trial before Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin, as the Synoptic writers did. This may have been the meeting of the Sanhedrin that he viewed as the real trial of Jesus.

The best way to be rid of one who can raise the dead is to put Him to death?

 54 Therefore Jesus no longer walked openly among the Jews, but went from there into the country near the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim, and there remained with His disciples.

 55 And the Passover of the Jews was near, and many went from the country up to Jerusalem before the Passover, to purify themselves.

 56 Then they sought Jesus, and spoke among themselves as they stood in the temple, "What do you think--that He will not come to the feast?"

 57 Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a command, that if anyone knew where He was, he should report it, that they might seize Him. (NKJV)

There was a warrant out for Jesus' arrest. The reader can hardly miss the point that Israel's leaders had deliberately rejected their Messiah.

Mary and Martha cannot comprehend why Jesus did not come to them—and to Lazarus—immediately, so that his death could be prevented. The further away we get from this miracle, the more we can see how much it accomplishes. (1) It demonstrates our Lord’s great power. (2) It strengthens the faith of those who believe in Jesus, especially the disciples, Martha and Mary. (3) It brings many to faith in Jesus as the Messiah. (4) It provokes greater and more intense opposition to Jesus, and a unified Sanhedrin, intent now on bringing about the death of Jesus.

The last verse (57) of chapter 11 may be parenthetical, and thus it may seem somewhat incidental, but it is very significant indeed: “(Now the chief priests and the Pharisees had given orders that anyone who knew where Jesus was should report it, so that they could arrest him.)” Up till now, the Jewish leaders have kept their intention to kill Jesus secret. They fear the masses and know Jesus has great popularity. The people know that the Jews oppose Jesus, and that they want to know His whereabouts so they can arrest Him. They also know that one can be put out of the synagogue for even talking about Him. But now in verse 57, the Jews declare Jesus to be an outlaw, a wanted man. Anyone who knows His whereabouts is to turn this information over to them. No doubt this word reaches the ears of Judas, and when he approaches these leaders in chapter 12, it is in response to this official order. This order also explains the secrecy of our Lord in making preparations for the Passover, for example. He will not give Judas an opportunity to betray Him until it is His “time.”

God’s Love in Giving Himself to Us

Before we see all this worked out in Bethany (verses 17–44), consider two confirmations from two other texts. For example, someone might say: But when I think of the love of God I think of John 3:16. Me too. “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” God’s love is the gift of eternal life at the cost of his Son. Yes. Yes. Yes!

But what is the heart and essence of eternal life? Jesus tells in John 17:3: “This is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” The essence of eternal life is the never-ending knowing of God the Father and God the Son. For God so loved the world, that at the cost of his Son’s life, he brought us into an everlasting knowing, admiring, loving, enjoying of himself and Jesus. The love of God is the gift of himself. And the greatness of that love increases in proportion to the greatness of his glory.

Jesus’ Love in Manifesting Himself to Us

And here’s a second confirmation that we are on the right track. In John 14:21, Jesus says, “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.” What a wonderful statement! “I will love you, and manifest myself to you.” That is how I will love you.

O how many of us can testify to this reality with thankfulness and joy. In the days of suffering and loss. In the days of darkness, and when it seemed that all around our souls would give way, Jesus loved us—not first by taking away the suffering or the loss or the darkness, but first by giving us himself in ways that could not have been ours without this painful season. If you demand that God love you the way the world expects to be loved in this life, you won’t know what it is to really be loved by God. The love of God is the gift of his glorious self.

Because he loved Lazarus and Mary and Martha, he stayed two days longer and let them walk through the valley of the shadow of death, and then went and showed them his glory.

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL ARE WE PRAYING OR COMPLAINING

19Jun

If we are not happy about our leaders, instead of complaining why don't we pray for them as the Bible says do so that God can do something about it, because we for sure cannot change things on our own. 1Ti 2:1-4 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. Have you tried the only solution that will work?

    John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

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The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

JOHN 11:36-44 JESUS SAID TO HER, DID I NOT SAY TO YOU THAT IF YOU WOULD BELIEVE YOU WOULD SEE THE GLORY OF GOD

16Jun

John 11:36 Then the Jews said, "See how He loved him!"  37 And some of them said, "Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?" 38 Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it. 39 Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, "Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days." 40 Jesus said to her, "Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?" 41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me. 42 "And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me." 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth!" 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with graveclothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Loose him, and let him go."

 Today we will see Jesus raise Lazarus from the dead.  Even though he has been dead four days, it is not too late.  Did you know that it is never too late for Jesus to do His work, when we give up and give in we have missed God’s best, because He wants us to trust Him in Faith.  Jesus tells them they will see God’s Glory, that was the message all along, but they missed it and many times so do we.  We are looking for a way out and God wants to show us His Glory.  Jesus allows them to participate by removing the stone and removing Lazarus’s grave clothes.  God wants us to serve Him and gives us the privilege of helping Him if we will only be obedient.  Jesus prays and calls forth Lazarus to come forth.  Lazarus is a picture of us who are dead in our trespasses and sins and unless God calls us out of that life, we will continue to be spiritually dead forever. Ephesians 2:4  But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.  That is what Jesus did for Lazarus and is what He will do for us if we will believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and be saved.  Have you done that?  If not, why not do it today?

36 Then the Jews said, "See how He loved him!"

All of this is to let us know that our Lord is greatly affected by the sorrow of those about Him. He does not dab away at a tear or two; He visibly trembles as He weeps. This is observed by those there at the burial place of Lazarus, along with Mary, and they say to each other, “Look how much he loved him” (verse 26). This is now the third time that mention has been made of our Lord’s love for Lazarus. The first is when Martha and Mary remind Jesus of His love for Lazarus, when they send word to Him of the illness of their brother (verse 3). The second is in verse 5, when John makes it clear with the strongest term for love (agaph) that Jesus deeply loved Lazarus, and his two sisters (verse 5). Now, those standing by Mary can see our Lord’s love for Lazarus themselves (verse 36).

37 And some of them said, "Could not this Man, who opened the eyes of the blind, also have kept this man from dying?"

Men say, “Where there’s life, there’s hope.” The Christian can say far more: “Where there’s death, there’s hope.” In fact, this is not even going quite far enough. It is not enough to say that God gives life to us in Christ in spite of death. It is far more accurate to say that God gives eternal life to men in Christ by means of death. It is by means of His death on the cross of Calvary that the penalty for our sins has been paid.

(Ephesians 2:1-10).

I am saying that it really was necessary for Lazarus to die here, so that true biblical faith can be produced in many. It was necessary for all hope of Lazarus’s human recovery to die with him, so that the resurrection power of our Lord can be demonstrated. This is no mere healing; it is a raising of a body so dead that it smells.

One of the greatest hindrances to spiritual renewal is that people refuse to die, or better yet, they refuse to admit they are dead. Too many Christians are trying to wring something good for God out of their fallen flesh, as though their bodies were weak, needing only a little divine help. We are dead with respect to any good works. It is His resurrection power which we all need to live the Christian life:

8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. 9 You, however, are not controlled by the flesh but by the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, this person does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is your life because of righteousness. 11 Moreover if the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will also make your mortal bodies alive through his Spirit who lives in you (Romans 8:8-11).

You may have a marriage that is in trouble. Rather than looking at it as sick, perhaps you should look at it as dead. I do not mean that you should pronounce it dead and get a divorce; I mean that you should see that it is humanly impossible to save, and that God must give it resurrection life. Biblical faith is resurrection faith, it is trusting in a God who can produce life where there is only death. This is what we are told about Abraham’s faith:

15 For the law brings wrath, because where there is no law there is no transgression either. 16 On account of this it is by faith, that it may be by grace, with the result that the promise may be certain to all the descendants, not only to those who are under the law, but also to those who have the faith of Abraham (who is the father of us all, 17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”) before God whom he believed, who makes alive the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18 Against hope Abraham believed in hope with the result that he became the father of many nations according to the pronouncement, “so will your descendants be.” 19 Without being weak in faith, he considered his own body as dead (because he was about one hundred years old) and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver in unbelief about the promise of God but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God. 21 He was fully convinced that what God promised he was also able to do. 22 So indeed it was credited to Abraham as righteousness. 23 But it is not written that it was credited to him only for Abraham’s sake, 24 but also for our sake, to whom it will be credited, those who believe in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was given over

Biblical faith is resurrection faith, faith which trusts in a God who is able to raise the dead. How many Christians are trying to “keep something alive” that God has declared to be dead? We do not live by the principle, “Where there’s life, there’s hope.” We live by the kind of faith which believes that God brings about life through death. Let us not strive to keep alive what should be laid to rest. Let us not strive to preserve life when God means to produce it. It all begins when we acknowledge, with God, that we are sinners who are dead in our trespasses and sins. We must cease striving to produce “dead works,” which we hope will please God, and confess that our finest deeds produced by fleshly efforts are an offense to God. Death is not the end of our hope, but its starting point. It is by means of the death of our Lord that we die to the guilt, penalty, and power of our sins. When we trust in Jesus Christ for salvation, we acknowledge our own sin and inability to save ourselves. Because of our transgressions and was raised for the sake of our justification (Romans 4:15-25).

John 12:24 "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.

No one could be on more intimate terms with God the Father than was Jesus, His Son. And yet no one has ever suffered more than the Son of God, and this (ultimately) at the hand of His Father. Suffering is a part of God’s “school” through which every saint must pass, even our Lord:

7 During his earthly life he offered both requests and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death and he was heard because of his devotion. 8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience through the things he suffered. 9 And by being perfected in this way, he became the source of eternal salvation to all who obey him, 10 and he was designated by God as “high priest in the order of Melchizedek” (Hebrews 5:7-10).

Suffering is proof of our sonship: Hebrews 12:3-13

2Ti 3:12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

When God sends suffering our way, it comes for His glory, as well as our good; it springs from His love for us; it comes from One who Himself suffers with us in our suffering. The tears of our Lord at the grave of Lazarus tell it all. Suffering does not come to the saint from a callused God, who is insensitive to our pains. Suffering comes from Him who has suffered more than we shall ever know, from the hand of One who is touched by our affliction. The verse, “Jesus wept,” may be short, but it is very significant. It is worthy of much meditation on our part. Let us remember that all the blessings into which we have entered as Christians have come as the result of His suffering:

Isaiah 53:1-12

Trust God's will, trust God's power, trust God's timing...you trust those three things and you're a trusting soul. God knows what He's doing. And He knows when to do it. And it's so easy to sit back and say, "Well, God has gone so far now," you're really messed up, "You're not going to be able to do anything about it now." And you start wavering into doubt. I like what it says in John 13:7. Peter, he was always asking questions. The Lord was always telling him, you know, to remember his place. Verse 7, "Jesus answered and said unto him," after he had asked a particular question about washing feet, "Jesus said,, What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter."

 38 Then Jesus, again groaning in Himself, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay against it.

As the great God-man, he had deep, strong emotions that always accorded perfectly with every situation. And this revelation, too, is an act of love. Even anger at unbelief and suspicion and questioning is an act of love. Because these are the very things that keep us from seeing the glory of Christ in our pain.

 39 Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of him who was dead, said to Him, "Lord, by this time there is a stench, for he has been dead four days." Dead men don’t have names, When He is raised he has a name.

40 Jesus said to her, "Did I not say to you that if you would believe you would see the glory of God?"

Mary is a picture I think of those of us who always think there is something we can do, to get to heaven, to fix things, to help God, but Mary is one who comes to Jesus and gets at His feet and knows that only Jesus can do something.

True Faith relies on God’s promises and releases God’s power

Here's the key thought. "Jesus saith unto her," Jesus talking to Martha, "Said I not unto thee that if thou wouldest believe thou shouldest see the glory of God?" Now you remember that I told you last time that that statement is the statement of principle. In other words, He's saying this, "If you want to see the most out of this miracle and see it in its true value, you've got to come to the miracle in the right frame of mind." Right? If you come to the miracle believing that it's going to manifest God's glory, then when it happens you're going to say, "Oh look, there's God's glory." If you come to the miracle preoccupied with a corpse, all you're going to see is a living corpse and you won't really reflect on the glory of God. If you come to the miracle blinded, totally unbelieving hardened heart, you're going to walk away, "And so I don't know what happened but obviously it didn't happen like it looked."

This is absolutely fundamental to the main purpose of this Gospel—and the whole Bible. In John 1:14–16, John writes, “The Word [the eternal Son of God] became flesh [became human] and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” Then in verse 16, he relates the demonstration of that divine glory to us. Verse 16: “And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace.” So the pattern is this: Jesus reveals his divine glory—glory as of the only Son from the Father—and we behold it, and from its fullness we receive grace.

So the incarnate revealing of the glory of God in Christ, climaxing with the cross and the resurrection, and our seeing it is the way we receive grace—that is, the way we are saved and receive all the promises of eternal life.

Christ says, "In this miracle, Martha, I don't want you to see a corpse made alive, I want you to see the Son of God glorified." Do you see the difference? The difference is just this, if you keep your eyes on the corpse, when the corpse comes alive all you're going to see is a living body. If you keep your eyes on Me, when the corpse comes alive all you're going to see is My glory. Do you see the difference? You see, what you carry into the miracle, Martha, is what you're going to get out of it. That's exactly what He's saying.

Oh, this is a tremendous principle. And He says I want you to see the glory of God. Now the glory of God is everything, isn't it? Everything that is, is what it is because of the glory of God. That's the theme of the universe, the glory of God. Everything is for God's glory...everything.

"What is the glory of God?" The glory of God is the revelation of all of His excellencies ... all of His attributes, all the fullness of His person. For example, His glory takes many, many facets. Moses said in Exodus 33:18 "Show me Your glory." And what did God show him? His goodness, His grace and His mercy. See. Those are just three of God's attributes. All of God's attributes or excellencies make up His glory.

Did you know that resurrection life was one of the attributes of God's glory? In Romans 6, listen to this, tremendous truth, verse 4, "Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death," that's speaking of our death with Christ, we died with Him. Now watch this, "As Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we should walk in newness of life." What raised Christ from the dead? The glory of the Father. What is the glory of the Father? That manifestation of it in resurrection power. One of the excellencies, one of the manifestations of God's glory is resurrection power. Therefore, Jesus says this miracle is for you to see the manifestation of God's glory in resurrection power. "Martha, I'm not so concerned that you be preoccupied with Lazarus. I want you to be preoccupied with Me and My glory."

If Martha sets her heart on Christ and then the miracle happens, she's going to see a glorified Christ. Right? That's the key.

But you know what happens to the Christian who keeps his eyes on Jesus Christ? When the solution comes, what does he see? He sees the glory of Jesus Christ. And you know, every time a problem's answered, you say, "Hey, praise the Lord, this is terrific." See. It's terrific. I've seen the glory of God.

Second Corinthians 3:18, it's a key verse. Listen to this, 2 Corinthians 3:18 says, "But we all with unveiled faith," since we've been saved the veil is off, we can see it now, "beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord." What are we supposed to be looking at in our Christian lives, our problems? No, no, no, we're looking into the glory of the Lord. And what happens to us? We are, listen to this one, terrific, changed into the same image from glory to glory even as by the Spirit of the Lord. You know what that verse is saying? That's saying that when you gaze into the face of Jesus Christ, you're going to see His glory. And not only that, you are literally going to be changed into His image from glory to glory. His glory is going to become your glory. You're going to be Christ-like and actually giving off His attributes.

 41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead man was lying. And Jesus lifted up His eyes and said, "Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.

His prayer was not a request for Lazarus' resurrection. Such a prayer would have glorified the Father. It was rather a prayer of thanksgiving for what the Father would shortly do. It had the effect of focusing attention on the Son as God's agent in

performing the miracle. Jesus' prayer had the effect also of drawing the onlookers into His intimate relationship with the Father and proving that He really did do nothing independently of the Father (cf. 5:19-47).

 42 "And I know that You always hear Me, but because of the people who are standing by I said this, that they may believe that You sent Me."

 42 times Jesus says He has been sent by the Father in the Book of John

 43 Now when He had said these things, He cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come forth!"

Lazarus was dead and he is a picture of us being spiritually dead, just as he could not do anything until Christ called him out, neither can we do anything to achieve holiness or heaven. Eph 2 – We are Spiritually dead

1Th 4:16 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.

The dead heard the voice of the Son of God and lived, as Jesus had predicted (5:25, 28-29). If Jesus had not specified Lazarus by name, every dead person might have arisen at His command. Jesus probably cried out loudly to make clear that this resurrection was not an act of magic. Wizards typically muttered their incantations and spells quietly cf. Isa 8:19 And when they say to you, "Seek those who are mediums and wizards, who whisper and mutter," should not a people seek their God? Should they seek the dead on behalf of the living?)

 44 And he who had died came out bound hand and foot with grave clothes, and his face was wrapped with a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Loose him, and let him go."

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL ARE WE TRULY TRUSTING IN GOD

12Jun

The long painful history of the Church is God’s people ever and again being tempted to choose power over love, control over the cross, being a leader over being led. Instead we should heed Ps 37:3-6 Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. 4 Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart. 5 Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass. 6 He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, And your justice as the noonday. Are you trusting in Him fully today? 

   John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

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The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

 

JOHN 11:16-36 JESUS SAID WHOEVER LIVES AND BELIEVES IN ME SHALL NEVER DIE. DO YOU BELIEVE THIS?

9Jun

John 11:26 "And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?" 27 She said to Him, "Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world." 28 And when she had said these things, she went her way and secretly called Mary her sister, saying, "The Teacher has come and is calling for you." 29 As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly and came to Him. 30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the town, but was in the place where Martha met Him. 31 Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and comforting her, when they saw that Mary rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, "She is going to the tomb to weep there." 32 Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died." 33 Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled. 34 And He said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to Him, "Lord, come and see." 35 Jesus wept. 36 Then the Jews said, "See how He loved him!"

 In this section of Scripture we see that Jesus has just told Martha that He is the Resurrection and the Life.  Then He asks a very important question. He says do you believe whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die?  Then she makes a great confession of who He is.  She gives Him three titles; He is the Lord, the Christ, and the Son of God.  First she says He is the Master and King over everything, He is Lord; and then she says He is the Messiah, the Anointed One, and then lastly the Son of God which speaks of His humanity.  He is all God and all man, that is what the Bible teaches. We then see her go get her sister Mary and then she falls at Jesus’s feet and says that if only statement.  If only, we need to realize that the if only’s do not matter in God’s economy.  Then the famous statement of Jesus weeping over the effects of sin and death that have come into this world, even though they accomplish the purposes of God.  We need to remember that God uses all things to accomplish His purposes, even the bad things are being used to bring it all to the place where it all turns out just like He said it would in His Word, the Bible.

 26 "And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

You say, "What is faith?" Faith is believing, that's right. At the end of verse 26, what are those three words? "Believest thou this," that's the invitation, that's our invitation. Do you believe it? Believe that, that's all He asks. Faith, that's it.

And once you believe, death is abolished totally. And then with the Apostle Paul you can say this, and I like it because what he's doing is standing there mocking death. First Corinthians 15, "0 death, where is thy sting? See? Did you get it? "Ah grave, where's your victory?" See. He's mocking it. The sting of death is sin. The strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God...what? ... who gives us the victory. Hey death, where is your sting? I like that. Big deal, death. Go ahead, get me and see what happens. instant glorification.

What does it mean to believe God? It means to say, "God, I accept what You have to say and I'm going to just flop on it, it better hold." Just trust, that's what believing is. It's commitment; throw your whole self on God.

 27 She said to Him, "Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world."

 28 And when she had said these things, she went her way and secretly called Mary her sister, saying, "The Teacher has come and is calling for you."

Isn't it interesting that all she had to do was kind of confirm her own confession in her own mind, Jesus didn't even reply? She just confirmed her own faith and then just took off. it's really kind of beautiful. "And when she had so said, she went her way." I'm satisfied, thanks, Lord. The Lord didn't do anything. He just confirmed her own faith.

 29 As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly and came to Him.

Immediate, fast response to the call of the Lord.  When God calls (speaks) we need to respond quickly to hear what He has to say

 30 Now Jesus had not yet come into the town, but was in the place where Martha met Him.

God calls, but we have to meet Him in the place where He calls,

 31 Then the Jews who were with her in the house, and comforting her, when they saw that Mary rose up quickly and went out, followed her, saying, "She is going to the tomb to weep there."

 32 Then, when Mary came where Jesus was, and saw Him, she fell down at His feet, saying to Him, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died."

She repeats the same words as Martha.  3 times she is at the feet of Jesus Luke 10:39, John 11:32, and 12:3.

 33 ¶ Therefore, when Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her weeping, He groaned in the spirit and was troubled.

to snort with anger like a horse. It occurs in the LXX (Dan. 11:30) for violent displeasure. The notion of indignation is present in the other examples of the word in the N.T. (Mark 1:43; 14:5; Matt. 9:30). So it seems best to see that sense here and in verse 38. The presence of these Jews, the grief of Mary, Christ’s own concern, the problem of the raising of Lazarus—all greatly agitated the spirit of Jesus [i]

Now, the word "weeping" there is klaiō. And it means "loud weeping, loud wailing." You know, they were really going on about it. Jesus saw this and He groaned in His Spirit. Now that's a hard statement to know exactly what it means because the word there means He was deeply troubled in the inner man. And it could mean this, sometimes the word means "angered.'' And it could be that what troubled Jesus is His anger over sin, see. That He is indignant about the pain and death and sorrow that sin causes, see. And that's...that's very possible that what you have here is Jesus indignant over what sin has created...this whole situation. It may just mean that He was in turmoil. But the thing that I think is the key here is that whatever was going on in His heart, just wrung out from His heart an involuntary groan. He was just grabbed and gripped by the situation.

Was Troubled - Probably of the outward manifestation of His strong feeling.

And then I love this, and it says, 'He troubled Himself." That's the fact that He let Himself care. He didn't have to care. He could have said, "Hey, everybody, don't need to cry, I'm going to raise him from the dead...it's going to be terrific." He could have sat in the back kind of tongue and cheek, see, kind of smiled at them. No, He knew He was going to raise Lazarus out of the dead. He knew that in a few minutes from now held be standing up talking to them. But knowing all that, His heart was ripped and torn by the consequence of sin that it brought such sorrow and death into the lives of people that He loved. Now that's a sympathetic Savior. That's not like the Greeks thought. They said the common characteristics of God is the Greek word apathea(?) which ... from which we get our word apathetic. He doesn't care about anything. Jesus did. He let Himself care. He troubled Himself.

 34 And He said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to Him, "Lord, come and see."

Uses us in Conjunction with His Power.  Never does a miracle when not needed.

 35 Jesus wept.     “Jesus burst into tears.” meaning to shed tears, to weep silently.

Maybe even crying because Lazarus has to leave paradise and come back to this sin ravaged world

"Jesus silently burst into tears." It wasn't a professional cry and it wasn't a sentimental cry, it was the...it was tears that were spontaneously the expression of love that couldn't be held back. He just burst into silent tears. Not mourner's tears, but tears of love that couldn't be held back even by the Son of God. And, those tears have been for all ages a testimony to the humanity of Jesus, haven't they? Cried two other times, once over Jerusalem, once in the garden. They weren't sentimental tears, they were the silent trickle of tears that course down cheeks that are flushed with love and drop to a chest that is heaving with sighs of sorrow. And it shocks me to see Him weeping like that because I know He knows He's going to raise Lazarus.

Hebrews 4:15–16 (ESV) 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

But the very fact that in a book where John is endeavoring to present the total divine nature of Christ as God in human flesh that He at the same time does not hesitate to give a complete detailed delineation of His humanity, speaks for the accuracy of the inspiration of the Holy Spirit and indeed verifies that this is a book written by God. And it is. So Jesus the man weeps in warm expression of love and sympathy and then Jesus God raises the dead man in a blazing expression of unlimited power.

 36 Then the Jews said, "See how He loved him!"

All of this is to let us know that our Lord is greatly affected by the sorrow of those about Him. He does not dab away at a tear or two; He visibly trembles as He weeps. This is observed by those there at the burial place of Lazarus, along with Mary, and they say to each other, “Look how much he loved him” (verse 26). This is now the third time that mention has been made of our Lord’s love for Lazarus. The first is when Martha and Mary remind Jesus of His love for Lazarus, when they send word to Him of the illness of their brother (verse 3). The second is in verse 5, when John makes it clear with the strongest term for love (agaph) that Jesus deeply loved Lazarus, and his two sisters (verse 5). Now, those standing by Mary can see our Lord’s love for Lazarus themselves (verse 36).

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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WARDEN BURL CAIN SHORT TESTIMONY FOR HIS LOVE MINISTRIES

5Jun

Hi, I ‘m Marty McKenzie with His Love Ministries.  Please help us reach out to those the World has forgotten. Everyone we minister to is locked up in some way, shape, or form.  Those in Nursing Home facilities are locked up in bodies that do not work, in a wheelchair or in a bed.  We minister to children and youth who are locked up because of behavioral problems. Some have told us, “We want to have a Real Family”, because their parents have lost or given up custody of them. Other kids are locked up because they have committed crimes.  We also minister to those locked up at the jail/prison; to those locked up in addictions to drugs, alcohol, depression, and suicidal thoughts; to those locked up in a variety of other things that keep them from becoming who Jesus wants them to be. He came to give us abundant life, joy, and set us free, and these people that we minister to are not free. Our desire is to show them whatever their background, no matter what they have done, to see how much God loves them; We seek to help them receive forgiveness and freedom from their sin in Jesus Christ. We minister in the local area of Savannah, Georgia and surrounding Effingham and Chatham area. We have recently expanded our ministry to the Lexington, Columbia, and Saluda SC area. We do over 2,000 services every year. We hope and pray that you will support us in some way so we can continue our mission. Go to His Love Ministries.net and Click on the Donate Now button or send it via regular mail to PO Box 1881 Lexington, SC 29071.  We hope and pray that you will do that. Thank you and God bless you.

 

“And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”  -John 8:32

 

John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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JOHN 11:17-26 JESUS SAID TO HER, I AM THE RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE. HE WHO BELIEVES IN ME, THOUGH HE MAY DIE, HE SHALL LIVE

2Jun

John 11:16 Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with Him." 17 So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days.18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away. 19 And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother. 20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house. 21 Then Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.  22 "But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You."  23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again." 24 Martha said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day." 25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. 26 "And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

16 Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with Him."

I believe this is a declaration of strong devotion to Jesus.

He did not understand that the death that Jesus would die was a death that His disciples could not participate in with Him (cf. 1:29, 36). Nevertheless he spoke better than he knew. John probably recorded his exhortation because it was a call to disciples to take up their cross and follow Jesus (cf. 12:25; Mark 8:34; 2 Cor. 4:10).

This whole Gospel is built around revelations of the glory of God in Jesus. And what we saw last week is this new emphasis that this is the way Jesus loves us. He does not mainly love us in this life by sparing us suffering and death. He mainly loves us by showing us and giving us himself and his glory. God loves us mainly by giving us himself and all that he is for us in Jesus. Jesus loves us mainly by giving us himself and all that God is for us in him.

Don’t measure the love of God for you by how much health, wealth, and comfort he brings into your life. If that were the measure of God’s love, then he hated the apostle Paul. Measure God’s love for you by how much of himself he shows you. How much of himself he gives you to know and enjoy.

Ps 71:8 Let my mouth be filled with Your praise And with Your glory all the day.

 17 So when Jesus came, He found that he had already been in the tomb four days.

Died the day the messenger came to see Jesus

 18 Now Bethany was near Jerusalem, about two miles away.

 19 And many of the Jews had joined the women around Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their brother.

Martha and Mary must be mystified as to why Jesus is taking so long to get back to Bethany—if not to cure Lazarus, then at least to comfort them.

 20 Then Martha, as soon as she heard that Jesus was coming, went and met Him, but Mary was sitting in the house.

 21 Then Martha said to Jesus, "Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died.

three times in our text we read, “If only You (or “He”) had been here

Why do you call that half faith?" Because she only believed, He could help Lazarus when he was sick not when he was dead. That's why it's only half faith. She had confidence in Christ, yet she limited His power. She believed that, nothing could kill her brother when Jesus was there but that once her brother died even Jesus couldn't change that.

In your mind, doubt, you know, and fear and anxiety and terror. You trust God, don't you, when everything is going good? Sure. The Lord provides, isn't He wonderful, He provides. When you really have to trust God, then you find out the measurement of your faith. Sure, it would have been all right if he was just ill, but now ... oh no, it's too much for you, Lord.

  22 "But even now I know that whatever You ask of God, God will give You."

She has doubt but she's not about to let go of all her faith. Martha turns out to be a pretty good theologian. She was dead center in that verse. I know that even now whatever Thou will ask of God, God will give it to Thee. That's exactly what Jesus had said all through His ministry, right? Everything I do I do by the will of the Father. Didn't He say that? He said that so many times. Listen, Martha knew who He was. And Martha even understood His relationship to God. She knew. Why Jesus had spent times in their home. They knew who He was. They knew His claims. And she says, "I know," how does she know? "Because You said it so many times, Lord, that whatever You ask the Father He gives You." She understands something of the relationship between the Father and the Son. Down in verse 27 she says, "I know You're the Son of God." She understood the relation between the Son and the Father. She knew that. She believed it.

The other is the word, which is used here, and it is not to ask on an equal basis, it is the word aitĕōmeans "an inferior asking a superior."

Mary was acknowledging by using the word aitĕō? She is acknowledging the humiliation of Christ. Listen, she was a theologian. She had it all down. She said to Him, "You have to ask the Father, I know, You said that."

You say, "Well, if He was equal to God, why did He have to ask the Father?" Because Christ voluntarily made Himself, the Bible says, a little lower than the angels even. You say, "Well, what is this thing about calling Jesus the Son and God the Father, and how come Jesus has to ask the Father?" Don't you understand that when Jesus was in glory before He came to the world He was face to face with God and equal with God, John 17? You know that? But when Jesus came to this earth, Philippians 2, He gave up the exercise of all of His attributes and limited them to the Father's will.

In other words, He still had all of His power but He only used it in the framework of the predetermined plan of God and Himself in heaven before He came. But she's emphasizing His humanity because, after all, as a person to her He appeared to be a person and was in His humility.

23 Jesus said to her, "Your brother will rise again."

 24 Martha said to Him, "I know that he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day."

But in Martha's case, she seems to have too little faith in what Jesus can do at the moment, while she has greater faith in what He can do in the distant future. But run into a problem today and it's "OH, OH

Martha knew more than most Jews knew. They didn't understand that. Martha was pretty good on the Old Testament. Maybe she had read Psalm 16, I'll read it to you, don't look it up. Listen, "Therefore my heart is glad and my glory rejoices, my flesh also shall rest in hope," why? "For Thou will not leave my soul in Sheol, neither wilt 'Thou permit thine holy one to see corruption. Thou wilt show me the path of life, in Thy presence is fullness of joy, at Thy right hand are pleasures forever more." That's resurrection, isn't it?

And maybe she remembered old Job back there who expressed the same kind of thing in the nineteenth chapter, twenty-fifth verse, "For I know that my Redeemer lives and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth. And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God whom I shall see for myself.' Now Martha knew the theology of resurrection. So she says, "Lord, I know that he's going to rise at the last day.

If you can trust God over there, you can trust Him here. If His power is going to be exhibited there, it's the same power right here. And it's very easy to postpone all our belief in the power of God to some nebulous future when we don't even identify with it and very easy to doubt it today ... and needless

Do you realize that God still has the wonderful task of raising the Old Testament saints who have been dead for thousands of years? Their souls are with the Lord, their bodies He's going to raise some day at the end of the Tribulation, did you know that? And they've been dead a long, long time. If He can handle that, friends, a four-day corruption is a small detail. It's interesting to look at Martha's faith from that angle.

 25 Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.

David said in Ps 30:3 O LORD, You brought my soul up from the grave; You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.

He does not say, I raise the dead; I perform the resurrection, but I am the resurrection. In His own person,

representing humanity, He exhibits man as immortal, but immortal only through union with Him.

He is saying, "It is immaterial whether you're talking about past, present, future. There is no time involved. I am resurrection and life." You see, she's saying, "It's wonderful, Lord, I know in the future ... He's saying, "Right here, Martha, see, Me. I am resurrection, not I will resurrect, I am resurrection." What a tremendous statement. She's got it all off in the future and He says it's here right in front of you, Martha. It's Me and it doesn't matter when, I am resurrection and I'll resurrect whenever I design to resurrect. And He will. And He has.

And so, He says I am. "I am" is the name of God, isn't it? Here is the revelation, this is it. Christ says I am resurrection and the life. Isn't that what we wanted to hear, friends? Isn't that the message the world wants to hear? Who cheated death and did he make a way for me to cheat it? There's the message. I am resurrection and life. And it's not a belief in a theology; it's a belief in a person, isn't it? Martha's thinking about an event. Jesus says no, look at Me a person, see. Salvation doesn't come in a system, friends, and it doesn't come in a religion and it doesn't come in a code, it comes in a living person, Jesus Christ who is resurrection and life. You will not have victory over death by going to church. You will not have victory over death by thinking religious thoughts. You will not have victory over death by doing good works. The resurrection and the life is an "I am Jesus Christ." And so Jesus is the full blessed life of God. He is the resurrection at any time in history: past, present, future ... an unconditional statement that knows no time bounds.

The life. The life is the larger and inclusive idea. Resurrection is involved in life as an incident developed by the temporary and apparent triumph of death. All true life is in Christ. In Him is lodged everything that is essential to life, in its origin, its maintenance, and its consummation, and all this is conveyed to the believer in his union with Him. This life is not affected by death. “Every believer is in reality and forever sheltered from death. To die with full light, in the clear certainty of the life which is in Jesus, to die only to continue to live to Him, is no longer that fact which human language designates by the name of death. It is as though Jesus had said: In me death is certain to live, and the living is certain never to die” (Godet).

 26 "And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"

You say, "What is faith?" Faith is believing, that's right. At the end of verse 26, what are those three words? "Believest thou this," that's the invitation, that's our invitation. Do you believe it? Believe that, that's all He asks. Faith, that's it.

And once you believe, death is abolished totally. Then with the Apostle Paul, you can say this, and I like it because what he's doing is standing there mocking death. First Corinthians 15, "0 death, where is thy sting? Did you get it? "Ah grave, where's your victory?" See. He's mocking it. The sting of death is sin. The strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God...what? ... Who gives us the victory. Hey death, where is your sting? I like that. Big deal, death. Go ahead, get me and see what happens. Instant glorification.

What does it mean to believe God? It means to say, "God, I accept what You have to say and I'm going to just flop on it, it better hold." Just trust, that's what believing is. It's commitment; throw your whole self on God.

 John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL GOD’S TRUE JUSTICE

29May

As Christians, so many times we see so much injustice and wonder when it all will end.  Romans 12:18-21 says If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, "Vengeance is Mine, I will repay," says the Lord. 20 Therefore "If your enemy is hungry, feed him; If he is thirsty, give him a drink; For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head." 21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.  We need to realize that God’s true Justice, will be fully and finally realized only in eternity.

   John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

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JOHN 11:5-15 RESPOND TO JESUS WHILE YOU CAN

26May

John 11:5 Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6 So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was. 7 Then after this He said to the disciples, "Let us go to Judea again." 8 The disciples said to Him, "Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?" 9 Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 10 "But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him." 11 These things He said, and after that He said to them, "Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up." 12 Then His disciples said, "Lord, if he sleeps he will get well." 13 However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep. 14 Then Jesus said to them plainly, "Lazarus is dead. 15 "And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him."

In this section of Scripture we see that Jesus has received the message that Lazarus is sick, but Jesus knows that he is dead at this point in time. So, Jesus waits two more days to test the sisters and the disciples. God loves to test us by making us wait on Him so our faith can grow and mature. Then He tells them lets go to Judea and scares the disciples because they know the Jews want to stone Him and they are in danger too if they go. Jesus tells us in the main point of the passage that there is only so much time for each of us to do what God has called us to do and so we better get busy while there is time to do His will. Then He tells them that Lazarus sleeps, they misunderstand, so He tells them plainly that he is dead. The last point of this section is Jesus testing them again because He says He is glad that He was not there when Lazarus died because He has something greater in mind. Did you know that God doesn’t always do what we think He ought to do because He has a greater plan and a greater purpose than any we can imagine? Faith means we trust God no matter what happens.

 5 Now Jesus loved(agape) Martha and her sister and Lazarus.

He waited till the right moment in the Father’s plan. This is God’s Timing –Never late

Lazarus’ sickness would not end in death, that is, in permanent death. Instead Jesus would be glorified in this incident (cf. 9:3). This statement is ironic. Jesus’ power and obedience to the Father were displayed, but this event led to His death (cf. 11:50-53), which was His true glory (17:1).

 6 So, when He heard that he was sick, He stayed two more days in the place where He was.

As we come to verse 6, we have a real tension with which we must grapple.  John makes a point of telling us that Jesus deeply loves Lazarus and his sisters. His love for Lazarus is mentioned by Martha and Mary in verse 3, and John then repeats it even more emphatically in verse 5. In spite of this, and the urgency of the situation, Jesus deliberately delays His return to Bethany. He waits two full days, so that when He does arrive in Bethany, Lazarus is “good and dead.” How can Jesus love these people so much and yet speak and act in a way that causes them such pain? it seems that since Lazarus has already been dead four days when Jesus arrives, that he must have died shortly after the messenger was sent.

In other words, it was more loving to put Lazarus through death and his sisters through grief, if that would reveal more of God’s glory to them and more of the glory of Christ. Jesus loves us by showing us himself.

When delay occurs God has a better time and a Better way – grows their faith, love sometimes has to be tough

 7 Then after this He said to the disciples, "Let us go to Judea again."

When these two days are completed, Jesus says to His disciples, “Let us go to Judea again.” Notice, He does not say, “Let us go to Bethany, again.” To go to Bethany is to go to Judea, which is virtually the same thing as going to Jerusalem, a mere two miles away. To go to Martha and Mary in Bethany is to return to that place where the Jewish religious leaders want Jesus dead. The disciples know this only too well. They are amazed that He even considers returning to Judea, and they remind Him of the dangers awaiting Him there. No matter how ill Lazarus might be, no matter how much these women feel they need Jesus, the disciples do not seem to even entertain the possibility of returning to Judea.

 8 The disciples said to Him, "Rabbi, lately the Jews sought to stone You, and are You going there again?"

3 times they sought to kill Jesus: John 5;16-18, 7:1, 10:27-30, 39-40

The “you” here is singular, not plural. At this point in time, any discussion about going back to Judea was, in the minds of His disciples, a personal trip for Jesus. They seem to have no intention of accompanying Him at this point

Martha and Mary must be mystified as to why Jesus is taking so long to get back to Bethany—if not to cure Lazarus, then at least to comfort them. Those four days after the death of Lazarus must have been especially difficult for them. The disciples have a different problem, however: they cannot understand why Jesus is even considering returning to Bethany, no matter what the circumstances. A return to Jerusalem would seem to spell certain death for Jesus, and for them, if they choose to accompany Him. I am not at all certain they are planning to do so—at least not until verse 16.

 9 Jesus answered, "Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. 1Jo 1:7 But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin.  8 ¶ If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

Joh 9:4 "I must work the works of Him who sent Me while it is day; the night is coming when no one can work.

This is walking in God’s will, His truth, As long as I and you are doing God’s will we are okay they can’t kill us because we are on God’s timetable.  My hour has not yet come

Joh 2:4 Jesus said to her, "Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come."

Joh 7:30 Therefore they sought to take Him; but no one laid a hand on Him, because His hour had not yet come.

 Joh 8:20 These words Jesus spoke in the treasury, as He taught in the temple; and no one laid hands on Him, for His hour had not yet come.

 Joh 12:23 But Jesus answered them, saying, "The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified.

 10 "But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him."

The Jews and the Romans commonly regarded the daylight hours as 12 and the nighttime hours as the other 12. Literally Jesus was referring to the daylight hours. Metaphorically the daylight hours represented the Father's will. Jesus was safe as long as He did the Father's will. For the disciples, as long as they continued to follow Jesus, the Light of the World, they would not stumble. Walking in the night pictures behaving without divine illumination or authorization. Living in the realm of darkness (i.e., evil) is dangerous (cf. 1 John 1:6). "When there is darkness in the soul, then we will stumble indeed."

As long as He followed God’s plan, no harm would come till the appointed time. Applied to people then, they should have responded to Jesus while He was in the world as its Light (cf. 1:4-7; 3:19; 8:12; 9:5). Soon He would be gone and so would this unique opportunity.

Their problem is they don’t know the truth and they will die in their sins

 11 These things He said, and after that He said to them, "Our friend Lazarus sleeps, but I go that I may wake him up."

Jesus then said, Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep. The word “friend” has special significance in Scripture (cf. 15:13-14; James 2:23). Not only their friend, but His also.

Jas 2:23 And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness." And he was called the friend of God.

 12 Then His disciples said, "Lord, if he sleeps he will get well."

As was often the case in the Gospels, Jesus was speaking about one thing but the disciples were thinking about another.

The raising of Lazarus is not a “first” in the Gospels. Jesus had already raised the dead son of the “widow of Nain,” as recorded in Luke 7:11-16. He did so on that occasion as they were taking his body out to be buried, and without being asked to do so by anyone. (Who would have thought to ask Jesus to raise a dead man?)  This was followed by the raising of Jairus’ daughter (Mark 5:21-43). In this latter raising, Jesus tells those who are mourning her death that she is not really dead, but is merely “asleep” (5:39). Our Lord’s disciples and others seem to have forgotten these earlier raisings, nor do they seem to recall our Lord’s use of the term “sleep” to describe a temporary lack of life.

The idea that people would awake from this sleep, while revealed in the Old Testament (Dan. 12:2), was not the common perception of the outcome of death. Normally people thought of those who fell asleep in death as staying asleep  13 However, Jesus spoke of his death, but they thought that He was speaking about taking rest in sleep.

The New Testament writers commonly referred to death as sleep for the Christian because our resurrection to life is a prominent revelation and is sure (cf. Acts 7:60; 1 Cor. 15:20, 51; 1 Thess. 4:13-18). That Jesus was not teaching soul sleep should be clear from Luke 16:19-31.403

The doctrine of soul sleep is the teaching that at death the soul, specifically the immaterial part of man, becomes unconscious until the resurrection of the body. The story of the rich man and Lazarus in Luke 16 shows that people are conscious after death and before their resurrection.

 14 Then Jesus said to them plainly, "Lazarus is dead. – There is no hope now in earthly terms, it’s too late

This is a picture of us being dead in our sins and trespasses,

15 "And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, that you may believe. Nevertheless let us go to him."

Wants them to have more faith

When death occurs God has a better plan and a better purpose

His absence, He tells them, is for their benefit. His delay has been by divine design, so that they might believe. Frequently in the Gospel of John, reference is made to the fact that our Lord’s disciples “believed” in Him (1:50; 2:11, 22; 6:69; 13:19; 14:1, 29; 16:27, 30, 31; 17:8; 20:8; 20:25-29). It is apparent that the faith of the disciples continues to grow, the more the person and work of our Lord becomes evident to them. It is my conviction that our faith, likewise, should never be static, but that it should always be growing as our knowledge of Him increases.

Jesus was glad that He had not been present when Lazarus died because the disciples would learn a strong lesson from his

resurrection that would increase their faith. The sign that Lazarus' death made possible would be the clearest demonstration of Jesus' identity so far and would convince many people that He was God's Son.

Unto him (πρὸς αὐτόν). Most touching. To him, as though he were yet living. Death has not broken the personal relation of the Lord with His friend.

 16 Then Thomas, who is called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, "Let us also go, that we may die with Him."

I believe this is a declaration of strong devotion to Jesus.

He did not understand that the death that Jesus would die was a death that His disciples could not participate in with Him (cf. 1:29, 36). Nevertheless he spoke better than he knew. John probably recorded his exhortation because it was a call to disciples to take up their cross and follow Jesus (cf. 12:25; Mark 8:34; 2 Cor. 4:10).

  John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

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30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL WHAT DO YOU PUT IN YOUR MIND

22May

This is Marty McKenzie with His Love Ministries. A mind is a terrible thing to put waste in, I’m talking about trash, garbage.  You wouldn’t go to the garbage dump, and bring it home to put in your refrigerator would you?  Well, that’s what we do every time we let the world’s trash enter our mind.  If you put Garbage in, you get Garbage out. We don’t let them teach us what to believe. Listen to what Phil 4:8 says:  Finally, brethren, whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things. So what will you put in your mind today?

    John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 Our mission is to spread the gospel and to go to the least of these with the life-changing message of Jesus Christ; We reach out to those the World has forgotten. 

hisloveministries.podbean.com #HLMSocial hisloveministries.net https://www.instagram.com/hisloveministries1/?hl=en Don’t go for all the gusto you can get, go for all the God (Jesus Christ) you can get. The gusto will get you, Jesus can save you. https://www.facebook.com/His-Love-Ministries-246606668725869/?tn-str=k*F 

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JOHN 11.1-4 JESUS SAID, “THIS SICKNESS IS NOT UNTO DEATH, BUT FOR THE GLORY OF GOD”

19May

John 11:1 Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. 2 It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick. 3 Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, "Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick." 4 When Jesus heard that, He said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it."

 This is another section of Scripture which we find to be so familiar to us, but as in all Bible Study we need to look deeper than the surface of what is going on here.  Lazarus is a man that Jesus loves, as He does all of His children, the ones who have trusted Him as Savior.  But he also loves the sisters Mary and Martha, yet he allows them to go through trouble because ultimately He will be glorified in the end.  That is why the Bible says we exist.  Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God and keep His commandments, For this is man's all. One man put it this way, we exist to glorify God and praise Him forever.  How do we do this?  By first of all reverencing God and keeping His commandments.  Second we do this by becoming more like Him every day.  Romans 8:28-29, And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.  God is bringing us back to the place we were at in the Garden of Eden before man’s fall and our sinfulness dragged us down.  The only way God can do this is by allowing us to go through trials that make us more like Him.  So, have you looked at your situation and said that this is not something that is ultimately bad, but through it God is going to be glorified because I am trusting in Him and He will never leave me nor forsake me (Hebrews 13:5)

 Death is the great horror which sin has produced (Rom. 5:12; James 1:15). Physical death is the divine object lesson of what sin does in the spiritual realm. As physical death ends life and separates people, so spiritual death is the separation of people from God and the loss of life which is in God (John 1:4). Jesus has come so that people may live full lives (10:10).

This chapter with Lazarus being raised is the demonstration of John 10:10

Rejecting Jesus means that one will not see life (3:36) and that his final destiny is “the second death,” the lake of fire (Rev. 20:14-15).

1 ¶ Now a certain man was sick, Lazarus (name means one whom God Helps) of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.

This Bethany ("house of the suffering) is about two miles (11:18) east of Jerusalem on the southeast slope of Olivet and is now called El Azariyeh, from the name Lazarus. Lit. Place of Lazarus

When John wrote, it was as Jesus had foretold (Matt. 26:13), for the fame of Mary of Bethany rested on the incident of the anointing of Jesus.

Luke 10:38-42, where Martha was distressed because Mary was not helping her prepare the meal.

Lu 10:38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house.  39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus' feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me." 41 And Jesus answered and said to her, "Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 "But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her."

 2 It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.

 3 Therefore the sisters sent to Him, saying, "Lord, behold, he whom You love is sick."

It is true the Martha and Mary do not specifically ask Jesus to do anything, but the word “look” or “behold” is not used lightly (see John 1:29, 36, 47; 3:26; 5:14; 7:26; 11:36; 12:19; 16:29; 18:21; 19:4, 14, 26, 27). They expect Jesus to drop everything and come to Bethany to heal him.

 4 When Jesus heard that, He said, "This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God may be glorified through it." John 1:14

The words recorded in verse 4 are not spoken solely for the benefit of those who overhear this conversation between Jesus and the messenger, but as a message for this messenger to take back to Martha and Mary. Notice our Lord’s words to Martha later in this same account:

39 Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, the sister of the deceased, replied, “Lord, by this time the body will have a bad smell, because he has been buried four days.” 40 Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that if you believe, you would see the glory of God?” V11:39-40

Verse 4 is our Lord’s response to Martha and Mary, sent back by the same messenger who brought word to Him of Lazarus’ grave condition.

This crisis has a divinely intended purpose—to bring glory to God the Father through the glorification of the Son of God. If we grant that the words of verse 40 are also sent to the women by the messenger, Jesus also encourages them to have faith, so that they too will see God glorified in all these things.

I am convinced that this is not what the women “hear” the messenger say when he returns without Jesus. I believe they “hear” (i.e., understand) the messenger say, “Jesus told me to tell you that Lazarus will not die.” The problem is that by the time the messenger returns to the women, Lazarus may already have died. Can you imagine their bewilderment if this is the case? They have already suffered the torment of Lazarus’ death and burial. Then, the messenger returns with word from Jesus which appears to assure them that Lazarus won’t die! Their faith in Jesus is really put to the test.

In this Gospel, God's "glory" is usually a reference to His self-revelation rather than the praise that comes to Him (cf. 1:14-18; 5:23; 12:28; 17:4).401 Ironically this miracle displayed Jesus' identity as God's Son, but it also led to His death that was the ultimate manifestation of His identity and glory.

  John 14:6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. Have you trusted Him as your Savior? He can Save you if You ask Him based on His death, burial, and resurrection for your sins. Believe in Him for forgiveness of your sins today.

 hisloveministries.podbean.com #HLMSocial hisloveministries.net https://www.instagram.com/hisloveministries1/?hl=en https://www.facebook.com/His-Love-Ministries-246606668725869/?tn-str=k*F

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 The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions.

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