WHAT HAVE YOU GIVEN UP OR SACRIFICED TO FOLLOW JESUS MARK 16:24

13Nov

Hi, this is Marty McKenzie with His Love Ministries.  In Matthew 16:24 it says If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. True discipleship is about not always doing the things you want to do.  Jesus said deny yourself and take up your cross and follow me. Paul said I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service.  We get joy out of doing things for ourselves, but how about for Christ? What have you given up or sacrificed to follow 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

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

JOHN 16:5-7 NEVERTHELESS I TELL YOU THE TRUTH. IT IS TO YOUR ADVANTAGE THAT I GO AWAY; FOR IF I DO NOT GO AWAY, THE HELPER WILL NOT COME TO YOU; BUT IF I DEPART, I WILL SEND HIM TO YOU

10Nov

John 16:5 "But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, 'Where are You going?' 6 "But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart. 7 "Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.

 We will see in this message that Jesus is telling them He is going away, but the disciples are more concerned with themselves than they are that Jesus will die. They are sorrowful because of their loss, not His dying. Then Jesus tells them it is necessary that He goes away so that the Holy Spirit can come to live in them and through them.  Jesus can only be in one place at a time in His human body, but the Holy Spirit can indwell all Christians at the same time(Romans 8:9) and give us the power to live the Christian life.  Sorry this message got messed up and about half of it is gone.  My recorder started acting up. I will replace it with the rest of verse 7-9 when it is redone.

 John 16:1 "These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble.

Jesus did not want His disciples to stumble (Gr. skandalethron, be caught unaware) in their discipleship after His departure because the events that would follow took them completely by surprise (cf. Matt. 5:10-12). Even though they did not understand everything Jesus told them immediately, they would remember them and understand them more fully later (cf. 14:20, 25-26).

"The greatest danger the disciples will confront from the opposition of the world is not death but apostasy.  Jesus gave this present teaching so His believing disciples would not depart from Him and what He had taught them when persecution assailed them following His departure from them (cf. Matt. 10:33; Mark 8:38; 2 Tim. 2:12; Rev. 3:8).

 2 "They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.

16:1-2. The disciples may have wondered why Jesus was telling them about the world’s hatred and persecution. Jesus, anticipating this question, indicated that expecting trouble beforehand would help them remain in the path of God’s will. (He gave a second reason in v. 4.) The disciples would face excommunication and even death.

Persecution unto death occurred in the case of Stephen (Acts 7:59), James (Acts 12:2), and others (Acts 9:1-4). Some people throughout church history have been motivated to persecute believers because of a misguided zeal for God. They think they are offering a service to God

Romans 10:2 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.

Jesus was always very open and direct about the cost of discipleship with those who wished to follow Him:

Luke 9:23-26 Then he said to them all, “If anyone wants to come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever wants to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it. 25 For what does it benefit a person if he gains the whole world but loses or forfeits himself? 26 For whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man be will ashamed of this one when he comes in his glory and the glory of the Father and of the holy angels (see also verses 57-62).

Jesus does not want His disciples to be taken by surprise, and so He tells them about the difficulties which lie ahead for them as His disciples. These men will be rejected by their fellow-Jews, put out of the synagogue, and even put to death. And the irony of all this is that when their opponents do such things, they will actually suppose that they are serving God by their opposition to Christ and His disciples.[1]

Whether in the first century or in the twentieth, Christians have often discovered that the most dangerous oppression comes not from careless pagans but from zealous adherents to religious faith, and from other beliefs. A sermon was preached when Cranmer was burned at the stake. Christians have faced severe persecution performed in the name of Yahweh, in the name of Allah, in the name of Marx—and in the name of Jesus.”

Who better illustrates this than Saul, before his conversion?

Acts 22:4 “I persecuted this Way even to the point of death, tying up both men and women and putting them in prison”.

Acts 26:9-11 “Of course, I myself was convinced that it was necessary to do many things hostile to the name of Jesus of Nazareth. 10 And that is what I did in Jerusalem: not only did I lock up many of the saints in prisons by the authority I received from the chief priests, but I also cast my vote against them when they were sentenced to death. 11 I punished them often in all the synagogues and tried to force them to blaspheme. Because I was so furiously enraged at them, I went to persecute them even in foreign cities” (see also 1Timothy 1:12-16).

 3 "And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me.

The opponents of the disciples would do these things because they had not come to know the Father or the Son. Theirs would be a sin of responsible ignorance.

 4 "But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them. And these things I did not say to you at the beginning, because I was with you.

The disciples appear to be in a state of emotional shock. They are overwhelmed with sadness. There seems to be nothing to say. Think of it. Jesus is going to leave them, and when He does, they are not only going to be forsaken by their own people, they are going to hunted down by them as though they were criminals.

 5 "But now I go away to Him who sent Me, and none of you asks Me, 'Where are You going?'

 6 "But because I have said these things to you, sorrow has filled your heart.

Jesus notes the fact that His disciples are not now asking Him where He is going. Earlier, Peter did ask (13:36), and Thomas came close to asking (14:5). It is not that they hadn’t asked; it is that they have stopped asking. It is as though the more they have asked, and the clearer Jesus’ meaning has become (He really was leaving them behind, and they could not accompany Him), the more the disciples have become distressed. And so they simply (as we would say) “clammed up.”

This is similar, I think, to the questions which Nicodemus was asking Jesus in John chapter 3. His questions and comments got shorter and shorter, and finally they just ceased. The more Jesus told him, the worse it seemed to get, and so Nicodemus, like the disciples, chose to keep quiet. Jesus seems to be calling their quietness to their attention, perhaps gently rebuking them by doing so. They were so caught up in their own sorrow and their own sense of loss that they did not wish to consider anything else, anything beyond themselves.

DA. Carson challenges us to consider the lessons we should learn from our Lord’s gentle rebuke of His disciples for their silence: they are too preoccupied with themselves, and with their own problems, and not focused upon their Lord. Is this not true of us as well? Are we so absorbed in our own lives, that we not only fail to “fix our eyes on Jesus,” but we also fail to see the needs of those about us?

They do not see their way to go on without Jesus.

7 "Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.

Our Lord’s “going away” is not only necessary, it is to their advantage. It is not that Jesus is abandoning them when He goes away, and that He is sending the Holy Spirit as a kind of consolation gift. He must go away, or the Holy Spirit cannot come. And when the Spirit does come, the disciples will see that they could never have had it better.

"It is important to note that the Spirit comes to the church and not to the world. This means that He works in and through the church. The Holy Spirit does not minister in a vacuum. Just as the Son of God had to have a body in order to do His work on earth, so the Spirit of God needs a body to   accomplish   His   ministries;   and   that   body   is   the church. . . . The Spirit does not 'float' in some ghostly way up and down the rows of a church building, seeking to win the lost. The Holy Spirit works through the people in whom He lives."

8 "And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:

Before that  conviction  had  come  mainly  from  the  Old  Testament,  John  the Baptist, Jesus, and the disciples' personal influences.

So, what is the Holy Spirit's ministry?  The Holy Spirit's ministry is to come into a world where there's righteousness in Christ over here and where there is evil and sin and rebellion over here and somehow break down that resistance, smash that wall of sin, penetrate into the hearts of individuals and bring them to the side of Jesus Christ, to bring them into fellowship with God.  That's the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the world, to bring men to Jesus Christ.

Now in order to bring them to Christ He has to break the power of sin because sin is the thing that holds men in rebellion against God.  Sin is the thing that separates men from God.  Sin is the thing that maintains their antagonism against God.  A vile man hates a holy God.  He hates anybody that smacks of a holy God.  The reason the world hates Christians who really live righteous lives is because they act as a living condemnation of them.  And so what the Holy Spirit must do is enter into the world and break the power of sin.  He must destroy the shackles of sin that bind and grip a man's heart.  And that's His ministry and that's what He sets to do...to break and to shatter that sin.

The verb convict occurs eighteen times in the New Testament (cf. Mt. 18:15; Lk. 3:19; Jn. 3:20; 8:46; 1 Cor. 14:24; Eph. 5:11, 13; 1 Tim. 5:20; 2 Tim. 4:2; Tit. 1:9, 13; 2:15; Heb. 12:5; Jas. 2:9; Jude 15, 22; Rev. 3:19). Arguably, in every instance the verb has to do with showing someone his sin, usually as a summons to repentance … The ‘exposure, is the exposure of one who does evil and who hates the light; it brings the shame that makes the evil person shrink from the light.”

The legal idea suggested by some seems to have been derived from the use of the term in extra biblical literature, whereas the biblical writers used elenxo primarily to describe correction, not prosecution or conviction.

The second meaning of the word "reprove."  It also means not to convict but to convince.  And here it isn't an objective condemnation, here it is not the idea that the Holy Spirit is going to doom men, here it is the idea that the Holy Spirit is going to reach into the heart of an individual and lay bare his sin to convince him that he needs Jesus Christ.  Do you know what the Holy Spirit wants to do?  He wants to convince you so He'll never have to convict you.  But if there is a rejection of the convincing ministry, there will be the convicting ministry, final judgment.

The world may think that it is judging Christians, but it is the Christians who are passing judgment on the world as they witness to Jesus Christ! Believers are the witnesses, the Holy Spirit is the “prosecuting attorney,” and the unsaved are the guilty prisoners. However, the purpose of this indictment is not to condemn but to bring salvation.[2]

When a lost sinner is truly under conviction, he will see the folly and evil of unbelief; he will confess that he does not measure up to the righteousness of Christ; and he will realize that he is under condemnation because he belongs to the world and the devil (Eph. 2:1–3). The only person who can rescue him from such a horrible situation is Jesus Christ, the Son of God. There can be no conversion without conviction, and there can be no conviction apart from the Spirit of God using the Word of God and the witness of the child of God.

Witnessing is a great privilege, but it is also a serious responsibility. It is a matter of life or death! How we need to depend on the Holy Spirit to guide us to the right persons, give us the right words, and enable us patiently to glorify Jesus Christ.

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.

 

[1] “D. A. Carson, The Gospel According to John (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1991), p. 531.

[2] Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). The Bible exposition commentary (Jn 16:5). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL HAVE YOU THANKED GOD TODAY

6Nov

Four times in Psalms 107 it says Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! Four times in Ps 136 it says, Oh, give thanks to the God of gods! For His mercy endures forever. If you have been seeking the will of God in your life, this Thanksgiving Season and every day of the year you can be right in the middle of His will by doing what 1Th 5:18 says, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Have you thanked God 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.

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

JOHN 15:18-25 JESUS SAID “HE WHO HATES ME HATES MY FATHER ALSO

3Nov

John 15:18 "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 "If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 "Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 "But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. 22 "If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 "He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 "If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. 25 "But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, 'They hated Me without a cause.'

 In this section Jesus makes it very clear that if you have trusted Him as your Lord and Savior that the world will hate us because it hated and still hates Him. The people of the world love us if we live like they do in sin, but when we live for God they hate us because we make them feel guilty and look bad. Jesus reminds them that they are His because He first loved them and chose them. He says that we will be persecuted because they even did it to Him and He is both Lord and Creator of everything.  Then He says that the Pharisees and those who have heard His word would not be guilty of willfully rejecting Him if He had not come and revealed Himself.  The principle of the Bible is that we are all guilty and deserving of hell according to Romans Chapters 1:16-3:31, but the more we know about God, the guiltier we become. If we respond to the light or revelation of Christ we have been given, God will show us more about Him (John 7:17). Lastly, He says that you cannot know God and do not love Him if you hate the Son Jesus. Anyone who claims to love God and hates Jesus is a liar. He finishes by saying that people hate Jesus for no reason other than He condemns their sin.  He never did anything wrong that would make them hate Him. 2 Timothy 3:12 Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

  1.  The world hates us because it hates Jesus Christ

18 "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.

  1. The world hates us because we are not like them,

 19 "If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

Loves it’s own things, Loves itself.

James 4:4 You adulterous people!  Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.

 A fundamental reason for the world’s hatred of a Christian lies in their differences

1 Peter 4:4 With respect to this they are surprised when you do not join them in the same flood of debauchery, and they malign you;

Romans 12:2 Do not be conformed to this world, 3 but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.4 

A believer, having left the kingdom of darkness and having been transferred into the kingdom of God’s Son (Col. 1:13), has a different joy, purpose, hope, and love. He now has certainty, truth, and a standard for life.

The response of the world is one, first of all, of antagonism. It’s one of envy. It’s one of jealousy. It’s one of hatred because our freedom and our joy are so real and theirs are non-existent. It’s an old story. Anybody hates somebody who’s got all the answers. And especially satanic godless men in the world hate those who give the answer when the answer is the antithesis of satanic activity, the person of Jesus Christ.

If there isn’t any antagonism in the world toward your testimony, then you don’t have a visible testimony. So they hate us first of all because we don’t belong to the system and we violate the system and we confront the system. And by a pure life, we rebuke the system. And Satan works against that.

  1. The world hates us because we belong to Jesus Christ

 20 "Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.

Previously He was referring to their need to imitate His humble service. But the principle has other applications. Christians are to identify so closely with Jesus that they share in His sufferings (they will persecute you also)[i]

And the world has always hated Jesus Christ and they have nobody to unleash that hatred on other than those of us who represent Jesus Christ. And so we get the brunt the hatred that is directed toward Christ. The unbelievers who reject Jesus Christ and hated Him and continue to hate Him without a cause, haven’t given up their hatred, they’ve just redirected it to us who represent Jesus Christ.

They hate us, because they hated our Lord Jesus... The world hates us because they hated Jesus Christ and we represent Him. You see, hate isn’t something you can store up, hate has to be vented. And the world has always hated Jesus Christ and they have nobody to unleash that hatred on other than those of us who represent Jesus Christ. And so we get the brunt of the hatred that is directed toward Christ. The unbelievers who reject Jesus Christ and hated Him and continue to hate Him without a cause, haven’t given up their hatred, they’ve just redirected it to us who represent Jesus Christ. And let me assure you that the hatred of the world is just as virile today as it was two thousand years ago. There are people all over the world dying for their faith in Jesus Christ.

Verse 20, “Remember the word that I said unto you,” and He’s referring back to chapter 13 verse 16, “the servant is not greater than his lord.” Now back there He was talking about service. Back there He was saying to them, “I’m concerned that you humbly wash each other’s feet as I have done to you and serve each other.” But here He’s using the same principle to apply to persecution and He’s saying, “You know, they persecuted Me, you don’t think that if they persecuted your Master that you’re going to get away without persecution, do you?” It identifies us with Jesus Christ in the fellowship of His sufferings.

In Philippians chapter 3 and verse 10, Paul talked about the fellowship of His sufferings. He knew what that meant.

He said, at the end of Galatians, he said, “I bear in my body the marks of Jesus Christ.” Paul’s trophy case was on his body.

If they have lain in wait for my sayings, with a design to ensnare me, they will in like manner lie in wait to entangle you in your talk.’ ’

On the positive side, some people followed and obeyed Jesus’ teaching, so they also responded to the apostles’ message.

Matthew 7, Jesus said, “Broad is the way that leads to destruction and many there be that go in there at, but narrow is the way into life everlasting and few there be that find it.”

We have to confront men with their sin openly and f rankly and expect a reaction. Sometimes they’ll receive Jesus Christ, more times than that, they’ll violently react. When you confront the world, you get a reaction. And if you’re not getting it, you’re not confronting the world.

  1. The world hates us because it does not know God

 21 "But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.

Here’s the real deep inner cause of all hate. It is the absence of a knowledge of God.

Man is born into the world in enmity with God. He is rebellious. He is full of hate toward God. Men don’t love God. Men don’t know God.

You say, “What about religious people?” First Corinthians 10:20 says, “What they do is sacrifice unto demons and not unto God.” False religion is demonic. Liberalism, modernism, those things that even call themselves Christianity that deny the virgin birth of Christ and the deity of Christ and the verbal inspiration of Scripture, those are not people who love God, those are people who hate God. They are under Satan’s control. Whether it’s gross kind of atheism or whether it’s superficial kind of liberal modern Christianity, they all hate God. They are at enmity with God. They are against God. They are on Satan’s side.

And to be honest with you, an individual who doesn’t worship the true God through Jesus Christ presented in the New Testament, comes out an atheist no matter what else he may worship.

The world worships the God who doesn’t exist. In Acts chapter 17, you remember Paul arrived in Athens. He stood up on Mars Hill and he said this, “Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are very religious ... very religious. For as I passed by and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD whom therefore ye ignorantly worship.”

Romans 1:18-28

 22 "If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin.

Before Jesus’ coming people might have pleaded ignorance as an excuse for sin

Acts 17:30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent,

He’s talking about the sin of willful rejection when you have the total revelation. In other words, the greatest sin that a man could commit is to have all of the specifics of God’s revelation and then reject. And Jesus said, “I have come and I have spoken unto you and you have seen My life and when you have rejected Me, then you have committed the sin of total rejection with total revelation. And the cloak of your hypocrisy is ripped off, you can’t hide your sin anymore. It’s obvious. You proved it by spurning me.”

He’s talking then about the specific sin of rejecting God and willfully spurning Jesus Christ. The greatest sin possible that a man can commit in the world is the sin of rejecting God’s full revelation. When the world killed Jesus Christ, they did it in the face of revelation. God had given them the whole Old Testament. God gave them Jesus Christ. They heard what He said. They saw what He did. They watched His life and then they killed Him. And they had thus reacted to all that God could communicate with hatred, antagonism and unbelief. They rejected every single thing that God could possibly reveal to them.

This is the sin of which the writer of Hebrews speaks in a very important passage that many have misunderstood. I’ve shared it with you before, let me just give it to you again. Hebrews 6:4, “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and were made partakers of the Holy Spirit and have tasted the good Word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they shall fall away to renew them again under repentance, seeing they crucified of themselves the Son of God afresh and put Him to an open shame.”

It says right there that when somebody has been enlightened with the revelation of God, when somebody has tasted the heavenly gift, when somebody has been partaker of the Holy Spirit, seen what the Spirit of God has done, watched the energy and the ministry of the Holy Spirit, tasted the good Word of God and the powers of the age to come, when somebody’s had all the revelation God can give, if they fall away there’s no way they can ever be renewed again to repentance. Why? Because they had a total rejection at the point of total revelation and God can go no further than that.

Now, to give you an illustration of how this works, Matthew chapter 12. Here’s a group of people who did this very same thing, exactly what they did, they rejected totally Jesus Christ at the point of total revelation and there was no other recourse. Matthew 12:24, the Pharisees came to Jesus who had just cast out demons, they had seen His life, His miracles, heard Him speak, and they had it all. God couldn’t give these guys anymore revelation. They were students of the Old Testament. They ... everything Jesus had done He had done right in their face. Here’s their conclusion. “This fellow doth not cast out demons but by Beelzebub the prince of demons.” He’s casting out demons because He’s demon possessed. They concluded that Jesus was from hell. That was their astute conclusion after all the Old Testament and the whole life of Jesus; they said He’s out of hell.

Mt 12:31, “Wherefore I say unto you, all manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven men.” He can forgive all sin, all blasphemy. “But the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven men and whosoever speaks a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him; but whosoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this age, neither in the age to come.”

You say, “What happened here? What is the blaspheming of the Holy Spirit?” It is this, it is that Christ did everything that He did through the Spirit. The Spirit was working in Christ. He says if you have come through My life and you’ve seen me and you’ve seen all the works that the Holy Spirit has done through Me, and you have concluded that they’re of Satan, you have blasphemed the Holy Spirit. In other words, blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is attributing the works and words of Jesus to Satan ... to Satan. And He says for that you cannot be forgiven.

People who appear to be religious and appear to worship God who have not received Jesus Christ as Savior and have spurned the total complete revelation of God, don’t know God at all. They’re hypocrites and verse 22 says that this rips the cloak of hypocrisy and uncovers their sin.

If I had not spoken unto them, to court their love, they had not had sin, their opposition had not amounted to a hatred of me, and their sin had been comparatively no sin. But now that I have said so much to them to recommend myself to their best affections they have no pretense, no excuse for their sin.’ [ii]

Luke 12:47 And that servant who knew his master’s will but did not get ready or act according to his will, will receive a severe beating.

If we had only his sermons upon record, and not his miracles, unbelief might have pleaded want of proof; but now it has no excuse.

 23 "He who hates Me hates My Father also.

He showed them they didn’t love God. They couldn’t love God and hate Him, it was impossible. They were liars. They were practical atheists. They played the religious game but they were atheists. They went into the synagogue, you know, as today they go to church, go through the motions, but they’re atheists. Men who mock Jesus don’t know God. Men who like a Jesus that’s watered down and not like the Jesus of the Word of God don’t love Him, they hate God. John 5:23, Jesus said, “He that honors not the Son, honors not the Father that sent Him.” Don’t ever be lulled for a split second into thinking that somebody can love God and not Jesus Christ.

 24 "If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father.

But now that the Light has come, those who willfully reject it have no excuse. The revelation in Jesus and by Jesus is so tied to the Father that to hate Jesus is to hate God (cf. John 15:24b).

Ro 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

 25 "But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, 'They hated Me without a cause.'

“This cometh to pass,” what does? Verses 22, 23 and 24, the fact that Jesus spoke enough words and did enough deeds to make them responsible. He did that so that when they hated Him, they would be hating Him without a cause.

But the nation as a whole rejected both Jesus and the Father because in their sins they loved darkness rather than light (3:19). The nation thought it was serving God in rejecting Jesus (16:2-3) but in reality it was serving Satan (8:44). Sin is basically irrational. Their hatred of Jesus was without any rational cause which also fits the pattern of hatred for righteous people, as seen in those who hated David (PS. 35:19; 69:4; 109:3).

God didn’t plan that men would hate Him. God planned that men would hate Him without reason. That’s what it says. God designed the full revelation so that if a man hates Christ, he does it without any cause at all, except his own selfish sinfulness. God gave so much revelation. God gave so much grace. God gave so much love. God made Jesus Christ so beautiful, so pure, so attractive, so magnetic, so drawing, so desirable that if a man goes on in sin, he goes on hating Jesus with no reason but his own sin. God did everything to save men, everything to keep men out of hell. And God planned that the coming of Jesus Christ would be such a perfect and complete manifestation that if men hated Jesus, they would be doing it for not cause at all, for no reason other than their own sin.

And so, if you’re going to count the cost and be a disciple of Jesus Christ, you’re going to find out that true discipleship necessitates a willingness to suffer the hatred of the world. And if you’re not willing to suffer the hatred of the world, then you’re not really willing to be the disciple that Jesus wants you to be. That’s part of it. The system still hates you.

Eph 5:11 And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them.

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 ARE YOU HELPING OR HURTING THE CHURCH?

30Oct

       Our heart has many pacemaker cells that keep the heart beating in rhythm.  When it gets out of sync, it can cause many problems, even making the heart burst apart.  The same thing can happen in the body of Christ when we are not unified, we have many problems and even break apart instead of being one as Jesus said we were to be in John 17:21 "that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. Are you doing your part to unify the body or are you tearing it apart?

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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JOHN 15:11-17 “THIS IS MY COMMANDMENT, THAT YOU LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU

27Oct

John 15:11 "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. 12 "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. 13 "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. 14 "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you.15 "No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. 16 "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. 17 "These things I command you, that you love one another.

 Jesus begins by telling them that He has spoken all these things that we might be full of joy in our lives. Jesus did not come so that we would be miserable, but joyful. Then He commands us to love one another as He has loved us by being willing to lay down our life if necessary. He gave Himself totally and completely because of His great love with which He loved us (Eph 2:4). This is the greatest kind of love that gives everything including our lives. Then He tells us that we are saved (His Friends) if we love like this and whatever else He asks us to do. He also says He will show us what He is doing and we will know the will of the Father and all He the Father has told Him. Lastly, He tells us that He is the one who chose us and did it so that we would bear fruit. Then He repeats the command that we love one another. This is very important that we love one another because we are all a part of each other and God and the Bible says that God is love.

 9 "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love.

Love is an action, not an emotion

Fifth blessing of abiding is that your life will be motivated by love.

In the love that I have for you.” Our love for Christ is the result of Christ’s love for us and is grounded at bottom in the Father’s love for the world (3:16).

This chain of loving relationships characterizes God’s family; the Father loves the Son, the Son loves His followers, His followers love one another.[i]

Abiding in His love is not automatic; it is something which we are commanded to do, and which takes effort and action on our part (albeit, inspired and empowered by God—see Philippians 2:12-13). Abiding in Christ requires the self-discipline that Paul talks about (1 Corinthians 9:24-27) and which the Holy Spirit produces (see 1 Timothy 1:7).

Psalm 89:33 but I will not remove from him my steadfast love or •be false to my faithfulness. 

As the Father loved him, who was most worthy, he loved them, who were most unworthy. The Father loved him as his Son, and he loves them as his children. The Father gave all things into his hand; so, with himself, he freely giveth us all things.[ii]

Jesus now speaks of abiding in Him as abiding in His love. Our Lord’s love for His disciples is like the Father’s love for Him. As our Lord speaks, He is virtually standing in the shadow of the cross. How can He speak of the Father’s love for Him at a time like this? Usually, we tend to emphasize the Father’s love for us, and that this love prompted Him to send His Son to the cross (see Ephesians 2:4). I believe we must also recognize that the Father sent the Son to Calvary out of His love for the Son, as well as out of His love for lost sinners. How can this be? Dying on the cross of Calvary was indeed an act of humility on our Lord’s part (see Philippians 2:5-8), but it was also intended for His greater exaltation:

Philippians 2:9-11 9 As a result [of His death on Calvary, as described in the previous verses] God exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow—in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue should confess to the glory of God the Father that Jesus Christ is Lord.

Colossians 1:18-2018 He is the head of the body, the church, as well as the beginning, the firstborn from among the dead so that he himself may become first in all things. 19 For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him 20 and through him to reconcile all things to himself by making peace through the blood of his cross—whether things on the earth or things in heaven (; see also Eph 1:18-23).

 10 "If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love.

Each involves the other (love and keeping the commandments of Jesus). And abide. The high example of Jesus (the Son) in relation to the Father is set before us as the goal.[iii]

We abide in His love when we keep His commandments

A believer is motivated by the wonder of Jesus’ love, which is patterned after the Father’s love in its quality and extent. Remain in My love might seem to be mystical but Jesus makes it very concrete. Obedience to the Father’s commands is the same for a disciple as it was for the Son (cf. 14:15, 21, and 23 ;). Active dependence and loving obedience are the proper paths for all of God’s children.

And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.

1 John 3:22 22 and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. 1 John 3:24 24 whoever keeps his commandments abides in God, 4 and God5 in him. And by this we know that he abides in us, by the Spirit whom he has given us. 

1 John 5:3 For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.

Our Lord does not say that we abide in His love “if we keep His commandment (singular),” but rather if we “keep His commandments” (plural). Here, Jesus does not say that we abide in His love when we “keep the law.”

I believe that our Lord avoided the term “law” here and employed the word “commandments” because He did not want to give legalistic Judaisers an occasion to attempt to put the Gentiles under the Old Testament law.

The Judaisers separated the law from love,[iv] though they should not have done so:

“Therefore know that the LORD your God, He is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and mercy for a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments[v] (Deuteronomy 7:9, NKJV, emphasis mine).

Jesus inseparably joins love and commandment keeping. Jesus summed up the whole law by two commandments, both of which were commands to love:

Matthew 22:34-40- 34 Now when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they assembled together. 35 And one of them, an expert in religious law, asked him a question to test him: 36 “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is like it, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the law and the prophets hang on these two commandments” ().

The Judaisers seemed to be ignorant of the fact that the law was given out of love. God gave Israel the law because of His love for those He had chosen to be His people (Deuteronomy 7:7, 12-13; 10:14-16). He expected His people to obey His law out of their love for Him (Deuteronomy 7:9; 30:16). Whenever we separate God’s love from God’s law, we get ourselves into trouble.

God gave the law out of His great love for His people. What God prohibited, He prohibited for man’s own good. What He required, He required for man’s own good. The law is a manifestation of God’s love for His people.[vi] No wonder the psalmists can say these things about God’s law:

1 Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful; 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night (Psalm 1:1-2, NKJV).

The law of God should be the delight of every saint because it is a manifestation of God’s love. God gave us His law to keep us from those things which would destroy us and to point us to the only One who can save us—Jesus Christ. Whenever we begin to look upon God’s commands as something other than an expression of God’s love, then we are headed for serious trouble.

For example, consider the account of the fall of man in Genesis 3

11 "These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.

Obedience brings joy therefore we will have the Joy of our Lord.

Sixth blessing of abiding is that your life will be overflowing with Joy.

Jesus had great joy in pleasing His Father by living a fruitful life

(cf. Heb 12:2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.). The purpose of His teaching is to give man an abundant life, not a joyless existence (John 10:10). The commands for His disciples to obey are for their joy (cf. Joh 17:13 "But now I come to You, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves.).

That your joy might be full; not only that you might be full of joy, but that your joy in me and in my love may rise higher and higher, till it come to perfection, when you enter into the joy of your Lord.’ ’ Note, [1.] Those and those only that have Christ’s joy remaining in them have their joy full; worldly joys are empty, soon surfeit but never satisfy. It is only wisdom’s joy that will fill the soul, Ps 36:8 They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.

Our joy is very different …

First and foremost, our joy is really His joy (John 15:11; 17:13). As we abide in Him and He in us, we experience great joy from those things that bring Him joy, as we would also be grieved by what grieves Him.

Second, the disciples had a very special joy. As they were greatly grieved at the death of their Master, their joy at seeing Him alive, raised from the dead, can hardly be described (see John 16:22; 20:20; 21:7).

Third, joy is the fruit of the Holy Spirit (Acts 13:42; Romans 14:17; Galatians 5:22; 1 Thessalonians 1:6).

Fourth, we have joy when we become born-again Christians by faith in Jesus Christ (Acts 8:5-8; Romans 15:13).

Fifth, we rejoice when others come to faith in Christ, as well as when they grow in their faith (Acts 11:23; 15:13; 2 Corinthians 7:13; 1 Thessalonians 2:19-20; 3:9; Philemon 1:7; Hebrews 13:17; 1 John 1:4).

Sixth, we have joy in taking part in the plans and purposes of a sovereign God, even when this brings about our own suffering (Acts 4:23-31).

Seventh, we find joy in doing that which brings the Father’s approval (Hebrews 12:2).

Eighth, we have joy in sacrificial service (2 Corinthians 8:2).

Ninth, we have joy in being with other saints and enjoying their fellowship (Philippians 1:3-4; 1 Thessalonians 2:19; 2 Timothy 1:4; 2 John 1:12).

Tenth, we have joy when we ask God for what He desires and for what we need, and in seeing Him answer our prayers (John 16:24).

 12 "This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

Keep on loving is the verb usage - “that ye keep on loving one another.” See 13:34.

Previous command was to:

Mt 22:39 "And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.'

 13 "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.

This refers to Jesus’ vicarious, substitutionary atonement (cf. 10:11; Rom. 5:7–8). This is love in action!

“Self-sacrifice is the high-water mark of love”

Jesus summed up the Ten Commandments in Lu 10:27 So he answered and said," 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,' and 'your neighbor as yourself.'"

I believe Jesus is restating that in that Loving God is the first four commandments and the last 6 have to do with loving your neighbor.  If you love God you will keep the first 4 and if you love your neighbor then you will keep the last 6.

But Jesus was also upping the level of love required, we can only love our neighbor as yourself without the Holy Spirit and being saved, but with Him, we can love at a new level where we willfully love and are willing to give up everything for our friends.

 14 "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you

It gives the condition for friendship, which is obedience (cf. 14:15, 23–24; 15:10; Luke 6:46).

We must not interpret this word friend in a limited way, because the Greek word means “a friend at court.” It describes that “inner circle” around a king or emperor. (In John 3:29, it refers to the “best man”, at a wedding.) The “friends of the king” would be close to him and know his secrets, but they would also be subject to him and have to obey his commands. There is thus no conflict between being a friend and being a servant.

Keep on doing my commands is the verb usage

If ye keep on doing,” not just intermittent obedience. Just a different way of saying what is in verse 10. Obedience to Christ’s commands is a prerequisite to discipleship and fellowship (spiritual friendship with Christ). He repeats it in the Great Commission (Matt. 28:20,

Genesis 18:17 17 The Lord said•, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am about to do,

Each of us is as close to God as we choose to be.” We are His friends, and we ought to be near the throne, listening to His Word, enjoying His intimacy, and obeying His commandments.

 15 "No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you.

Normally, a slave does what he is told without understanding his master’s mind or business

Jesus called His disciples friends because He had disclosed His Father’s revelation to them.

 16 "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.

Jesus then reminded them that contrary to the common practice of disciples picking a teacher, Jesus had chosen them (cf. John 15:19). The purpose of His choosing was so that they would produce lasting fruit. He chose them for a mission, and His Father would answer their requests in order to accomplish that mission (whatever you ask in My name;

We keep our ears open and listen to what He says to us. “Hast thou heard the secret of God?” (Job 15:8) “The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him; and He will show them His covenant” (Ps. 25:14). We must be attentive and alert.

Note three present active subjunctives with ἱνα [hivna] (purpose clause) to emphasize continuance (ὑπαγητε [hupagēte], keep on going, φερητε [pherēte], keep on bearing fruit, μενῃ [menēi], keep on abiding), not a mere spurt, but permanent growth and fruit-bearing. He may give (δῳ [dōi]). Second aorist active subjunctive of διδωμι [didōmi] with ἱνα [hina] (purpose clause). Cf. 14:13 for the same purpose and promise, but with ποιησω [poiēsō] (I shall do). See also 16:23f. 26.[vii]

As the Father loved him, who was most worthy, he loved them, who were most unworthy. The Father loved him as his Son, and he loves them as his children. The Father gave all things into his hand; so, with himself, he freely giveth us all things.[viii]

 17 "These things I command you, that you love one another.

Answered prayer is linked to love and mission!

 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 WHAT IS THE GREATEST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED TO YOU?

23Oct

If you are a Christian and I were to ask you what is the greatest thing that ever happened to you?  It should be without hesitation we reply, when we came to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Then the second question naturally follows, what is the greatest thing we can tell someone? It would be How to come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior! My next question is are we living in such a manner as to glorify God and then telling others about Jesus.  If it all depended on you for someone to come to know Jesus, would they ever find out the truth about Him and be 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.

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

JOHN 15:4-8 I AM THE VINE, YOU ARE THE BRANCHES. HE WHO ABIDES IN ME, AND I IN HIM, BEARS MUCH FRUIT; FOR WITHOUT ME YOU CAN DO NOTHING

20Oct

John 15:4 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

 In this wonderful section of Scripture we will see that unless we abide we can nothing that God has ordained for us to do. I believe abide first of all means we are saved if we abide in Him and He abides in us, Romans 8:9, John 14:20, 17:23. Then, when we are filled with the Spirit we bear much fruit.  Being filled with the Spirit is talked about in Eph 5:9, 5:18-21, and Col 3:16-23. If we are not saved we are unable to do anything that is a supernatural God work. In other words, if you are saved you know that before you were that you were unable to change and get rid of those sin areas in your life that plagued you. You also now have an ability to live for God and also do great works in His name (see Mt 5:16, Eph 3:20). The Fruit of the Spirit is spoken of in Gal 5:22, but it also is shown in the passages above where Paul says it will be shown by;

  1. Speaking about the Word of God (What dominates your thought life)
  2. Singing and Making Melody in your Heart (Joy)
  3. Thankfulness
  4. Being Submissive to God and Others in your household and your workplace and treating others like they should be treated.
  5. It also will glorify God

 Verse 4 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

Abiding in Christ is fundamental and essential. But just what does it mean to abide in Him? Our understanding of this great text depends upon our understanding of the word “abide” (KJV) or “remain.” The NET Bible has chosen to consistently render the Greek term (menw) “remain” in our passage.[i] The difficulty with the Greek term is that it conveys more than any one English word is able to capture. Let me illustrate this by pointing out the various ways this word is rendered by the translators of the King James Version. Out of 120 occurrences in the New Testament, menw is rendered “abide” 61 times, “remain” 16 times, “dwell” 15 times, “continue” 11 times, “tarry” 9 times, “endure” 3 times, and still in other ways 5 more times. In our text, the idea of “remaining” is clearly present, but the word “remain” somehow fails to convey the full force of our Lord’s words. A number of times in John’s Gospel, the term is used of “dwelling” in a certain place, of staying somewhere as one’s dwelling place:

 Salvation = Abide in this usage

Col 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

In addition to these instances, where abide speaks of one’s dwelling somewhere as a place of residence (even if only for a day or so), there are the two occurrences of the related term (monh) in John 14:1 and 23, which refer to the “rooms” (sometimes rendered “mansions”) or “dwelling places” that await us in heaven, in the Father’s house. Because of John’s use of these terms, I would suggest that we render the term abide “make one’s home” or “make one’s abode.” To “abide” in Christ as the True Vine is to “make our home” in Him, just as He also “makes His abode” in us. If we wish to stress the “remain” aspect of the term, we might translate menw “to make our permanent home.”

The idea of having God as our “dwelling place” is found as well in the Old Testament:  

Psalm 90:1, A Prayer of Moses the man of God. LORD, You have been our dwelling place in all generations

Psalm 91:1, 9-10 - 1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. … 9 Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, 10 No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling (, NKJV,

Psalm 61:3 For You have been a shelter for me, A strong tower from the enemy (, NKJV,

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe (, NKJV, emphasis mine).

Consequently, it would seem that “making your permanent dwelling place” is not far from the meaning of abide in our text. This helps us discern the message that our Lord is seeking to convey to His disciples, and ultimately to us. What, then, does it mean to “make the Lord Jesus our permanent dwelling place”? Let’s simplify this definition, and say that Jesus is instructing us to make Him our “home” as He makes His “home” in us. Think about what “home” means to us:

  • Home is where your heart is; it is where you want to be (especially during holidays).
  • Home is the place to which you return, the place to which you are eager to get back to (e.g., when you’ve been on vacation).
  • Home is where you feel comfortable, and can really be yourself.
  • Home is a place of safety and security.
  • Home is where you bring your friends when you wish to have fellowship with them.
  • Home is our base of operations; it is at the center of what we do.
  • Home is where you find your strength for life; it is where you eat and sleep.
  • Home is where the people and the things we love the most are found.

Isn’t this what Jesus Christ should be for the Christian? Shouldn’t He be our place of refuge and security? Should He not be the source of our life and strength? Shouldn’t He be the reason for our fellowship with others? Shouldn’t He be where our heart is?

 5 "I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

That Christ would be at home – i.e. Living in close fellowship with Christ. = Abide in this usage?

 Eph 3:16 That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; 17 That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, Eph 3:18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Col 1:29 To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.

Abraham and Lot

 The teaching of our Lord concerning “abiding” in Him is based upon a fundamental premise, stated in verses 4 and 5: “Apart from Me, you can accomplish nothing.” This is a very basic biblical principle. Jesus means us to understand that the term “nothing” refers to spiritual fruit. There is a certain sense in which men can do nothing at all without Christ. They cannot live or breathe or eat, apart from the provisions God has made:

Acts 17:24-28 -24 “The God who made the world and everything in it, who is Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by human hands, 25 nor is he served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he himself gives life and breath and everything to everyone. 26 From one man he made every nation of the human race to inhabit the entire earth, determining their set times and the fixed limits of the places where they would live, 27 so that they would search for God and perhaps grope around for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 28 For in him we live and move about and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we too are his offspring’”

In and of ourselves, we can do nothing to earn God’s favor or to merit His salvation. We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23). We are all under divine condemnation, helpless and hopeless, apart from Christ (Ephesians 2:1-3). So, too, apart from abiding in Christ, Christians cannot do anything that will please Him. This is the point of Romans 7. Romans 6 teaches us the necessity of dying to sin and of living righteously, but Romans 7 informs us of the impossibility of doing so in the power of our flesh. And so Paul cries out, “Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?” (Romans 7:24). It is only through the work of our Lord Jesus Christ that we are enabled to fulfill the righteous requirements of the law (Romans 8:3-4).

The way to bear much fruit is for the branch to maintain unhindered fellowship with the vine by allowing the vine to have its way with the branch. The alternative would be resisting the Holy Spirit's work by neglecting and disobeying God.

 6 "If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned.

Lost People in this verse.

So the vine, then, sends life into the branch and the branch bears fruit. All the branch has to do is abide, and the fruit is Christ-likeness, it is the idea of confessing praise of God, it is a contribution in love to somebody in need, it is communication that blesses others, rather than selfishly designed for yourself, it is conduct in general--all our good works, and it is converts--souls won to Jesus Christ. All of that in the New Testament is considered to be fruit of an abiding branch-, and I'll tell you that it's a marvelous thing to realize that Christ is producing in us all of those things, And-if we're not enjoying them, and if we're not experiencing them, and we're not seeing them totally fulfilled in our lives, then the reason is simple. We just aren't abiding experientially as God designed us to abide.

 7 "If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.

Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Walking in the Spirit = Abide in this usage?

First blessing of abiding is answered prayer

Effective prayer is based on faith in Christ and on His words remaining in believers. Christ’s words condition and control such a believer’s mind so that his prayers conform to the Father’s will. Since his prayer is in accord with God’s will, the results are certain—it will be given you (cf. 1 John 5:14-15).

 8 "By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.

Second blessing of abiding is the father is glorified

We bring glory to the Father (verse 8), and we prove ourselves to be disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ (verse 8).

Jesus Christ is the “abiding place” for the Christian. He is the One from whom we derive spiritual life and strength and the means to become Christ-like. It is only through Him that we can “bear fruit.” It is by “abiding” in Him that we also enter into the deepest union and fellowship. Thus, Jesus urges His disciples to “abide” in Him when He departs to be with the Father, assuring them that He will likewise “abide” in them.

His “abiding” in us is not exactly the same as our “abiding” in Him. By abiding in Him, we draw life and strength, and thus we bear fruit. As He abides in us, He imparts His life, truth, and strength to us. Thus, Christ is manifested both to us and through us. He does not draw His strength from us, but imparts it to us. Our abiding is that of dependence; His abiding is the gracious manifestation of His presence and power in and through us.

Third blessing of abiding is bearing much fruit

Fourth blessing of abiding is that you will prove you are His true disciple

 He now gives us some specifics as to how we are to abide in Him. He also spells out some of the benefits of abiding in Him.

Believers are commanded to abide in (1) prayer (v. 7; 14:14); (2) obedience (v.10, 20); (3) joy (v. 12); and (3) love (v. 12). These are all evidences of a personal relationship with God.[ii]

 

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.

[i] I much prefer the rendering “reside” which the NET Bible suggests in its footnotes.

[ii] Utley, R. J. D. (1999). Vol. Volume 4: The Beloved Disciple's Memoirs and Letters: The Gospel of John, I, II, and III John. Study Guide Commentary Series (140). Marshall, Texas: Bible Lessons International.

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL IS YOUR LIFE PLEASING TO GOD?

16Oct

Paul begs us in Eph 4:1 to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called. In 1Pet 2:9 it says you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, that you may declare the wonderful deeds of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. That is the job of the Christian. The church is a called a body in the Scriptures, but within that body every true Christian has the responsibility to fulfill this calling by loving and witnessing to others. The two go hand in hand. Are you living up to your calling?

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

JOHN 15:2-4 JESUS SAID YOU ARE ALREADY CLEAN BECAUSE OF THE WORD WHICH I HAVE SPOKEN TO YOU

13Oct

John 15:2 "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

In today’s lesson we will see that Jesus tells us that the people who do not bear fruit are not really saved and He takes them away.  We will see later they are burned in the fire (sent to hell).  He tells us that the true disciples are the ones the Father prunes; they are the ones that bear fruit.  This chapter says very clearly that if you are saved your life will show it by the fruit you bear because you are connected to the True Vine (Jesus).  He also says that they have been washed clean from their sins by the Word of God. (Titus 3:5, Ephesians 5:26-27). He lastly tells us the only way we can produce fruit is if we are connected to the vine and live in a close intimate relationship with him. To say it another way is that we are filled with the Holy Spirit.  No one can do anything unless God empowers us to do it.

 The Vine and Its branches, John 15:2-4. In John 15:2-

2 "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

 Note the word “every,” used twice in this verse, so that “every” unfruitful branch is removed, just as “every” fruitful branch is cleansed or pruned. I believe that John intended for us to recognize this repetition of “every” as significant. The fact that “every” branch that does not bear fruit is removed seems to speak of one thing—the eternal destiny of the fruitless. All unbelievers will perish in the lake of fire, away from God’s presence (Revelation 20:11-15), while “every” true branch will go through various cleansings to make it more fruitful. The “every” in both instances presses me to conclude that Jesus is contrasting true believers and unbelievers. It is in these two instances that the destiny or experience of each is all-inclusive.

In our text, Jesus employs the imagery of a vine to describe the new relationship which His disciples are about to enjoy with Him and with the Father. Our Lord is the “vine”; unbelievers are the fruitless branches,[i] while believers are the fruit-bearing branches. The grapes are the “fruit” which God produces in and through the saints as they draw their life and strength from the “vine,” the Lord Jesus Christ. And God the Father is the gardener, who tends the vine, removing dead branches and purifying the living branches.

Jesus is speaking of those whom appear to be in Christ but are not, see also Lu 8:18 "Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him."

I believe the weight of the evidence falls on the side of that interpretation which concludes that the unfruitful branches are removed from the vine and destroyed.[ii] In much more blunt language, the unfruitful branches burn in the eternal fire of hell. If this is the case, then how do we explain the phrase “in Me” (verse 2)?

If you are a true Christian you will bear good fruit, Mt 7:16 "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?  17 "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 "Therefore by their fruits you will know them. 21 ¶ "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!' 24 "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 "and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 26 "But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 "and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall." 28 And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, 29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.. In John 15:2- He cleanses every branch. God does the pruning so that we might bear more fruit, see Matthew 7:19-20. It is not our job to be a self-appointed fruit inspector. God is committed in shaping the character of Jesus in us. God will use what ever it takes to get our attention.

Mark 4:1-20 The parable of the soils and seeds, only one bears fruit

Ro 11:17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, "Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in." 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.

Jewish branches were removed from the olive tree because of their unbelief, even as Gentile branches are grafted into the tree by faith.

  1. In John 15:3- Jesus is talking to the Eleven Apostles about already being cleaned, the means by hearing and believing. John 15:4 is referring sanctification; remain close to the Lord for we must draw energy from the Vine.
    The Vine and Its bounty, John 15:5-11. The abiding life is what brings us abounding life. To abide in Christ is to be filled with the Spirit, Colossians 2:6. This needs to be our attitude in everything we do; as branches we desperately need the Vine! We don’t need to compare ourselves to other Christians,

See John 15:6

And also Joh 10:28 "And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. 29 "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. If we are not attached to Him/The Vine we are destined for judgment, see Mt 3:7 ¶ But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to his baptism, he said to them, "Brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 "Therefore bear fruits worthy of repentance, 9 "and do not think to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our father.' For I say to you that God is able to raise up children to Abraham from these stones. 10 "And even now the ax is laid to the root of the trees. Therefore every tree which does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire...

Jesus is contrasting Himself to fruitless Israel, see John 15:6 and also Eze 15:6 "Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: 'Like the wood of the vine among the trees of the forest, which I have given to the fire for fuel, so I will give up the inhabitants of Jerusalem; 7 'and I will set My face against them. They will go out from one fire, but another fire shall devour them. Then you shall know that I am the LORD, when I set My face against them... In John 15:7-8 by abiding in Jesus and in the Word we will want what He wants and therefore we need to ask … 
… and it will be done. 

First, notice that the purpose of the vine is to bear fruit. We know from the Synoptic Gospels that our Lord cursed the unfruitful fig tree (Matthew 21:18-19). Our purpose as Christians is to abide in Christ so that we might bear fruit. Just what is the “fruit” which is either absent or present? What is the difference between a “fruitful” branch and an “unfruitful” branch? Some think that the “fruit” our Lord refers to here is the “fruit of the Spirit” (see Galatians 5:22-23). Others think of the “fruit” as new converts—those who have been saved as a result of the witness of the branches. I understand the term fruit a bit more broadly. I believe that as we abide in Christ, He abides in us, and when He abides in us, Jesus Christ becomes evident in and through us. The “fruit” then, is being Christ-like. The church is the body of Christ (see 1 Corinthians 12:27; Ephesians 4:12). I believe we bear fruit as Christ is manifested in and through our lives. He is seen in us as we manifest His character (Galatians 5:22-23). He is evident in us as we carry on the work He began when He was on this earth (see Acts 3:6, 12-16; 4:13). Being fruitful, then, is manifesting Christ in our lives.

Second, the branches are the instrument through which fruit is produced. While our Lord produced much “fruit” when He was physically on the earth, He now produces “fruit” through those (branches) who believe in Him.

Third, these branches only bear fruit in union with the vine. The branches obtain life through the vine; they are sustained by the vine; they produce fruit through the vine. The only way to bear fruit is for the branches to abide in the vine.

Fourth, the Father is the gardener, who tends the vine. He removes the lifeless, fruitless branches—those branches which were never truly “in the vine,” but only supposed themselves to be. He “cleanses” (some versions render this “prunes”) the branches, so that they will bear even more fruit. We really need to pause here for a moment, to reflect on what these words of our Lord really mean. There is a way in which Christians can very quickly and easily turn things around, losing the emphasis and focus we should have. For example, we think of the Lord’s return, and rather than seeing this as the time when our Lord will prevail over His foes and receive the glory He deserves, we think of it mainly in terms of the cessation of our suffering and pain, and in terms of the benefits we will gain.

When our pleasure becomes paramount, rather than God’s glory, then we have fallen far short of what God’s Word teaches. Our purpose in life is not to “fill our cups” with all the pleasure we can experience; it is to abide in Christ so that we may bear fruit for Him. The process by which this fruit-bearing is promoted is often painful. Thus, the Father cleanses or prunes us, so that we will be more fruitful. And lest you think the Father is being arbitrary, do not forget that the “fruit” which our Lord produced by His life and sacrificial death at Calvary came at great cost to Him, and to the Father.

3 "You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you.

Fifth, the Word is the instrument which the Father employs to tend the vine. The Word is the instrument which God employs to cleanse the branches (15:3; cf. also 17:17). Put in different terms, the Word is the super-sharp cutting instrument by which God prunes us (see Hebrews 4:12). Further, it is also my opinion that the Word is often the “cutting instrument” which the Father employs to “remove” the unfruitful (and unbelieving) branches (15:2). As I read through the Book of Acts, I see the closing of a chapter for Israel and the Jews.[iii] The gospel is proclaimed, and some Jews receive it. But many are those who reject the Word of God, bitterly opposing Paul and others who proclaim it. It is in response to the proclamation of the Word that some are “cleansed” and others are “clipped off.” The Word of God is at one and the same time the instrument which separates some from the vine, while drawing others all the more closely.

Joh 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Eph 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.

1Pe 1:22-23 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently:
Personal Application:
1. Are you abiding in Christ? Obeying Him, in communion with Him- it’s not automatic because we have choices. We need to cultivate it!
2. Is God pruning you, so there can be seasons of fruit?
3. Are you a real or a fake branch - are you born again or is it plastic fruit? If you are saved you will bear fruit as a by-product. An unbeliever will have no real fruit.

Verse 4 "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

Abiding in Christ is fundamental and essential. But just what does it mean to abide in Him? Our understanding of this great text depends upon our understanding of the word “abide” (KJV) or “remain.” The NET Bible has chosen to consistently render the Greek term (menw) “remain” in our passage.[iv] The difficulty with the Greek term is that it conveys more than any one English word is able to capture. Let me illustrate this by pointing out the various ways this word is rendered by the translators of the King James Version. Out of 120 occurrences in the New Testament, menw is rendered “abide” 61 times, “remain” 16 times, “dwell” 15 times, “continue” 11 times, “tarry” 9 times, “endure” 3 times, and still in other ways 5 more times. In our text, the idea of “remaining” is clearly present, but the word “remain” somehow fails to convey the full force of our Lord’s words. A number of times in John’s Gospel, the term is used of “dwelling” in a certain place, of staying somewhere as one’s dwelling place:

 Salvation = Abide in this usage?

Col 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

In addition to these instances, where abide speaks of one’s dwelling somewhere as a place of residence (even if only for a day or so), there are the two occurrences of the related term (monh) in John 14:1 and 23, which refer to the “rooms” (sometimes rendered “mansions”) or “dwelling places” that await us in heaven, in the Father’s house. Because of John’s use of these terms, I would suggest that we render the term abide “make one’s home” or “make one’s abode.” To “abide” in Christ as the True Vine is to “make our home” in Him, just as He also “makes His abode” in us. If we wish to stress the “remain” aspect of the term, we might translate menw “to make our permanent home.”

The idea of having God as our “dwelling place” is found as well in the Old Testament:  

Psalm 90:1, A Prayer of Moses the man of God. LORD, You have been our dwelling place in all generations

Psalm 91:1, 9-10 - 1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. … 9 Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, 10 No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling (, NKJV,

Psalm 61:3 For You have been a shelter for me, A strong tower from the enemy (, NKJV,

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe (, NKJV, emphasis mine).

Consequently, it would seem that “making your permanent dwelling place” is not far from the meaning of abide in our text. This helps us discern the message that our Lord is seeking to convey to His disciples, and ultimately to us. What, then, does it mean to “make the Lord Jesus our permanent dwelling place”? Let’s simplify this definition, and say that Jesus is instructing us to make Him our “home” as He makes His “home” in us. Think about what “home” means to us:

  • Home is where your heart is; it is where you want to be (especially during holidays).
  • Home is the place to which you return, the place to which you are eager to get back to (e.g., when you’ve been on vacation).
  • Home is where you feel comfortable, and can really be yourself.
  • Home is a place of safety and security.
  • Home is where you bring your friends when you wish to have fellowship with them.
  • Home is our base of operations; it is at the center of what we do.
  • Home is where you find your strength for life; it is where you eat and sleep.
  • Home is where the people and the things we love the most are found.

Isn’t this what Jesus Christ should be for the Christian? Shouldn’t He be our place of refuge and security? Should He not be the source of our life and strength? Shouldn’t He be the reason for our fellowship with others? Shouldn’t He be where our heart is?

 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.

 

[i] In the context, unbelieving Jews are in focus, but in its broader application “fruitless branches” would include all unbelievers, especially those who falsely suppose themselves to be true believers in God.

[ii] The best defense of this interpretation I have seen is that of James E. Rosscup, Abiding in Christ: Studies in John 15 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1973), pp. 248-249.

[iii] We know from Romans 11 that this “hardening of Israel” is not total, but partial; not permanent, but temporary.

[iv] I much prefer the rendering “reside” which the NET Bible suggests in its footnotes.

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL WHAT ARE YOU SEEKING?

9Oct

Luke 17:26 "And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 27 "They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 30 "Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.  The people Jesus is talking about are all the unbelievers in the United States and all over the world who are so caught up in the junk of this world that don’t understand our real priority is to seek first the kingdom of God and His Righteousness and the other will be added unto 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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The world is trying to solve earthly problems that can only be solved with heavenly solutions

JOHN 15:1-2 JESUS SAID I AM THE TRUE VINE, AND MY FATHER IS THE VINEDRESSER

6Oct

John 15:1 "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

In this very controversial passage of Scripture we will see that Jesus is telling us that He is the true source of our spiritual and physical life. Ac 17:28 "for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 'For we are also His offspring.'  2Peter 1:3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.  Jesus is the source of it all and the Father is the one who will do the cutting (chastising in our life) when it is needed.  The way a vine produces fruit is by cutting it back and it will produce more.  God does the same thing in our life when He cuts away those unnecessary things out of our life so we can continue to grow in the grace and the knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Jesus is talking about two groups of people here.  One is the true Christians who when they are cut on bear more fruit and the false Christians who never bear any fruit.  Mt 7:16 "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?  17 "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them. 21"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

  1.  Intro: Our need to abide in Christ. Key word: abide means to remain; continue; stay. To abide in Christ is to be filled with the Spirit, Colossians 2:6.
    The Vine and Its background, John 15:1. The vineyard was the symbol of the nation Israel, Isaiah 5:1-7. Israel was delivered out of slavery, God gave them the Scriptures and they rebelled. God sent prophets and still they rebelled. See Jesus tells the Parable of the Wicked Tenants, Matthew 21:33-42 Mt 21:43 "Therefore I say to you, the kingdom of God will be taken from you and given to a nation bearing the fruits of it.;

Israel is failing as the vine, Jer 2:21 Yet I had planted you a noble vine, a seed of highest quality. How then have you turned before Me Into the degenerate plant of an alien vine? 22 For though you wash yourself with lye, and use much soap, Yet your iniquity is marked before Me," says the Lord GOD. 23 "How can you say, 'I am not polluted, I have not gone after the Baals'? See your way in the valley; Know what you have done: You are a swift dromedary breaking loose in her ways,.

Joh 15:1 "I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.

Jesus is what God wants Israel to be. This is telling us the need to change, to be different.

Ps 80:14 Return, we beseech You, O God of hosts; Look down from heaven and see, And visit this vine 15 And the vineyard which Your right hand has planted, And the branch that You made strong for Yourself. 16 It is burned with fire, it is cut down; They perish at the rebuke of Your countenance. 17 Let Your hand be upon the man of Your right hand, Upon the son of man whom You made strong for Yourself.

2.   The Vine and Its branches, John 15:2-4. In John 15:2-

2 "Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

 Note the word “every,” used twice in this verse, so that “every” unfruitful branch is removed, just as “every” fruitful branch is cleansed or pruned. I believe that John intended for us to recognize this repetition of “every” as significant. The fact that “every” branch that does not bear fruit is removed seems to speak of one thing—the eternal destiny of the fruitless. All unbelievers will perish in the lake of fire, away from God’s presence (Revelation 20:11-15), while “every” true branch will go through various cleansings to make it more fruitful. The “every” in both instances presses me to conclude that Jesus is contrasting true believers and unbelievers. It is in these two instances that the destiny or experience of each is all-inclusive.

In our text, Jesus employs the imagery of a vine to describe the new relationship which His disciples are about to enjoy with Him and with the Father. Our Lord is the “vine”; unbelievers are the fruitless branches,[i] while believers are the fruit-bearing branches. The grapes are the “fruit” which God produces in and through the saints as they draw their life and strength from the “vine,” the Lord Jesus Christ. And God the Father is the gardener, who tends the vine, removing dead branches and purifying the living branches.

Jesus is speaking of those whom appear to be in Christ but are not, see also Lu 8:18 "Therefore take heed how you hear. For whoever has, to him more will be given; and whoever does not have, even what he seems to have will be taken from him."

I believe the weight of the evidence falls on the side of that interpretation which concludes that the unfruitful branches are removed from the vine and destroyed.[ii] In much more blunt language, the unfruitful branches burn in the eternal fire of hell. If this is the case, then how do we explain the phrase “in Me” (verse 2)?

If you are a true Christian you will bear good fruit, Mt 7:16 "You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles?  17 "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 "Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 "Therefore by their fruits you will know them. 21 ¶ "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. 22 "Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' 23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!' 24 "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: 25 "and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock. 26 "But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: 27 "and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall." 28 And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, 29 for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.. In John 15:2- He cleanses every branch. God does the pruning so that we might bear more fruit, see Matthew 7:19-20. It is not our job to be a self-appointed fruit inspector. God is committed in shaping the character of Jesus in us. God will use whatever it takes to get our attention.

Mark 4:1-20 The parable of the soils and seeds, only one bears fruit

Ro 11:17 And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, 18 do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, "Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in." 20 Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. 22 Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. 23 And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.

Jewish branches were removed from the olive tree because of their unbelief, even as Gentile branches are grafted into the tree by faith.

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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[i] In the context, unbelieving Jews are in focus, but in its broader application “fruitless branches” would include all unbelievers, especially those who falsely suppose themselves to be true believers in God.

[ii] The best defense of this interpretation I have seen is that of James E. Rosscup, Abiding in Christ: Studies in John 15 (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1973), pp. 248-249.

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL HAVE YOU HEARD THE GOOD NEWS

2Oct

In 1 Corinthians 15:3 Paul says For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures. It is amazing how simple the Gospel is in that a little child can understand and believe, yet an adult with great intelligence will not and cannot understand it. Have you put your trust in Christ yet? I hope so, if not, I pray you will understand this truth, repent of your sins, and truly believe Jesus is the Christ, God who came in human flesh and ask Him to forgive you and save 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

 

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 14:25-31 MY PEACE I LEAVE WITH YOU, MY PEACE I GIVE TO YOU

29Sep

John 14:25 "These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. 26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. 27 "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. 28 "You have heard Me say to you, 'I am going away and coming back to you.' If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, 'I am going to the Father,' for My Father is greater than I. 29 "And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe. 30 "I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. 31 "But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here.

 V26 His peace is rooted in His Word, v27 Sourced by His Person (My peace I give to you), different from that the world gives, have peace in spite of trouble, v27 Experienced by faith (Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.) Same as He started the Chapter don’t have to let it if you trust Him. Ends the chapter with the same thing.

Jesus started out this passage saying let not your heart be troubled and then begins to tell them what all is going to happen.  He then tells them that he is leaving and they need not be worried because He will take care of them and He will still be with them in another way. Then He finishes the section by telling them the way He will be with them is by sending the Holy Spirit who will teach them and bring to remembrance all things He said to them.  But as they are worrying about all of this still He says my peace I leave you not as the world gives peace and again don’t let your heart be troubled.  He says He is their peace and that they need not worry and neither should we.  He says they should rejoice in the fact that He is leaving and going back to heaven.  Plus, He says all of this in advance so that they will know that He knew it was going to happen.  Lastly, He lets them know again for the umpteenth time that He does all of this because He is doing the Father’s will.  Will we trust God no matter how hard it gets and rejoice in what He is doing in our lives through the hard times or let them stress us out?

 25  "These things I have spoken to you while being present with you.

 26 "But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Lu 24:49; Joh 2:22; 12:16; 14:16; 15:26; 16:7, 13; 1Jo 2:20, 27

What Jesus said in the days of His earthly ministry was only partially understood. Three things were needed for the apostles to understand Jesus’ person and mission: (1) His death had to occur. (2) He had to rise again to vindicate His claim and demonstrate His victory. (3) The Spirit had to come (He would be sent by the Father … in My name, i.e., in Jesus’ place and for Him) and interpret the meanings of Jesus’ words and deeds. The Spirit, Jesus said, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. This verse is addressed to the apostles. The context limits the “all things” to the interpretation and significance of His person and work. The Spirit worked in their minds, reminding them of His teaching and giving them insight into its meaning (cf. 2:22; 7:39; 20:9).[i]

Again, the promise of the Holy Spirit being sent is given to comfort the disciples. See note on 15:26, 27. The first emphasis was on His life-giving power (7:37–39). The next featured His indwelling presence (14:16, 17). The next marked His teaching ministry (14:26). His ministry of empowering for witness is marked in 15:26.[ii]

Lu 24:1 Now on the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they, and certain other women with them, came to the tomb bringing the spices which they had prepared. 2 But they found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3 Then they went in and did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 And it happened, as they were greatly perplexed about this, that behold, two men stood by them in shining garments.

 5 Then, as they were afraid and bowed their faces to the earth, they said to them, "Why do you seek the living among the dead? 6 "He is not here, but is risen! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee,

 7 "saying, 'The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.'" 8 And they remembered His words.

John 12:12 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.

On this rests the credibility and ultimate divine authority of the Gospel history.[iii]

Verbal Plenary Inspiration – Every word is given to us by God the inspiration of Scriptures extends to all sixty-six books of the Bible. Secondly, the inspiration of the Holy Spirit extends to every single word of the original manuscripts, not to just concepts or thoughts but to every single word.

This is very important material to master. Quoted Text below is from one of my Bible classes; the quotes are read from time to time, to remind us of the SIGNIFICANCE of this Beautiful Bible we are so privileged to have. If not quoted, it's paraphrased. I believe my pastor was quoting from other theological sources, but when you think over the meaning of the words, you see how apt they are, just the same.

"Verbal Plenary Inspiration" means "God the Holy Spirit so supernaturally directed the human writers of Scripture that, without waiving their intelligence, their individuality, their personal feelings, their literary style, or any other human factor of expression, His Complete and Coherent Message to mankind was recorded with perfect accuracy in the original languages of Scripture: the very words bearing the Authority of Divine Authorship."

So "Verbal" means, "the Bible in its original languages, from first to last (Autograph), is an exact record of the Mind and Will of God as He intended it to be."

So "Plenary" means, "the entire text of the Bible is equally from God, but not necessarily equally-important."

So "Inspiration" means, 2Tim3:16's "God-breathed" (theopneustos): just as God breathed into Adam's nostrils AFTER MAKING HIS BODY and that made Adam EXHALE and thus become a living soul, so also God's breathing of the Word into the Scripture writers produced an 'exhale' of Canon, without waiving any of their own personal attributes.

Mt 5:18 "For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled.

Lu 21:33 "Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

1Peter 1:20 knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. 21 For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.

When Jesus leaves they (the disciples) will have total recall of everything He said while He was on earth.

1Jo 2:27 But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.

 27 "Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. John 14:1; Php 4:6-7; Col 3:15

The word "peace" reflects the Heb. "Shalom," which became a greeting to His disciples after the resurrection (20:19–26). At the individual level this peace, unknown to the unsaved, secures composure in difficult trouble (cf. v. 1), dissolves fear (Phil. 4:7), and rules in the hearts of God’s people to maintain harmony (Col. 3:15). The greatest reality of this peace will be in the messianic kingdom

I read that 2/3rds of all women are on anti-depressants

Num. 6:26; the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Ps 29:11 The LORD will give strength to His people; The LORD will bless His people with peace.

Isa 9:6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

 7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Isa 52:7 How beautiful upon the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who proclaims peace, Who brings glad tidings of good things, Who proclaims salvation, Who says to Zion, "Your God reigns!"

Isa 54:13 All your children shall be taught by the LORD, And great shall be the peace of your children.

Isa 57:19 "I create the fruit of the lips: Peace, peace to him who is far off and to him who is near," Says the LORD, "And I will heal him."

Eze 37:26 "Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them, and it shall be an everlasting covenant with them; I will establish them and multiply them, and I will set My sanctuary in their midst forevermore.

Hag 2:9 'The glory of this latter temple shall be greater than the former,' says the LORD of hosts. 'And in this place I will give peace,' says the LORD of hosts."

Ac 10:36 "The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ--He is Lord of all—

Ro 1:7 To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ro 5:1 ¶ Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

Ro 14:17 for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

 28 ¶ "You have heard Me say to you, 'I am going away and coming back to you.' If you loved Me, you would rejoice because I said, 'I am going to the Father,' for My Father is greater than I. John 5:18; 10:30; 14:3, 8, 12; 16:16; 20:17; Php 2:6

If the disciples had been more mature in their love for Jesus, they would have been glad for His departure. But their love was still selfish at this point. Jesus was in His humiliation on earth, but by going back to the Father He would be exalted in glory (cf. 13:31-32) and He will come back (cf. 14:3).[1]

Cults or false teachers argue from the statement, The Father is greater than I, that Jesus is a lesser god. But this would make Jesus a created being or would lead to polytheism, both of which are clearly unbiblical. The Father and the Son share the same essence (cf. 1:1-2; 14:9; 20:28). The Father and the Son are “One” in purpose and essence (10:30). Thus the Father is greater in office or glory than the Son was in His humiliation.

 29 "And now I have told you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe. John 13:19; 16:4
Isaiah 46:8–10 (ESV) “Remember this and stand firm, recall it to mind, you transgressors, remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 declaring the end from the beginning and from ancient times things not yet done, saying, ‘My counsel shall stand, and I will accomplish all my purpose,’

Jesus had predicted His death and resurrection many times (e.g., Mark 8:31-32; 9:31). When this came to pass, after their initial shock, it would greatly help their faith. 30 "I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming, and he has nothing in Me. John 12:31; 16:11

The Heb. idiom means that Satan had nothing on Jesus, could make no claim on Him, nor charge Him with any sin. Therefore, Satan could not hold Him in death. Christ would triumph and destroy Satan

His teaching time was now limited because Satan, the prince of this world (cf. John 12:31; 16:11), was moving his forces against Jesus through Judas (cf. 13:2, 27). And yet Satan had no hold on Jesus. Sin leads to death (Rom. 5:12, 21a; 6:16), and sin and death give Satan a hold over people (cf. Heb. 2:14-15; Rev. 12:10). But since Jesus is sinless, Satan cannot claim Him for his kingdom of darkness. Satan thought Jesus’ death was a victory for him, but actually it was Jesus’ victory over Satan (John 16:11; Col. 2:15).

Romans 5:12 Death in Adam, Life in Christ 12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men5 because wall sinned—

Colossians 2:15 (ESV) 15 He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

Hebrews 2:14–15 (ESV) 14 Since therefore the children share in flesh and blood, he himself likewise partook of the same things, that through death he might destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, 15 and deliver all those who through fear of death were subject to lifelong slavery.

31 "But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave Me commandment, so I do. Arise, let us go from here. John 10:18; Php 2:8; Heb 5:8 (NKJV)

His death was no sign that Satan won, but that God’s will was being done.

Heb 5:8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered.

Philippians 2:8 (ESV) And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

Whether Jesus’ words in John 15-17 were spoken in the room or on the way to the garden is uncertain, but probably they were given in the room.[2]

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 EVERY DAY WITH JESUS IS SWEETER THAN THE DAY BEFORE

25Sep

  The song every day with Jesus is sweeter than the day before, every day with Jesus I love Him more and more is so true if you are a Christian and are living in the power of the Holy Spirit He has given you.  Life can be sweeter every day if we spend time with Jesus in prayer, in His word and living out what He has given us to do. Maybe you remember your life as I do before Jesus, it was not sweet that is for sure.  Have you given your life to Jesus, do it today and life will be joy, peace, and abundant in spite of our troubles as He promised us in John 10:10.  Follow Him today with your whole heart, you will never regret it.

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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JOHN 14:15–24 JESUS SAID IF YOU LOVE ME, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS

22Sep

John 14:15 "If you love Me, keep My commandments.  16 "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever-- 17 "the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. 18 ¶ "I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. 19 "A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. 20 "At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. 21 "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him." 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, "Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?"23 Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. 24 "He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me.

 In this section of Scripture Jesus defines a true Christian as one who keeps His commandments.  He is very clear; those who do not obey Jesus are not really saved no matter how much they go to church or know their Bible, or how many good deeds they do.  This cannot be any more clear.  How many today will say they are going to Heaven but do not live in any way that looks like what a Christian is supposed to be according to the Bible?  Jesus does not say we get to Heaven by doing good works, but that if we are saved we will do them.  Look at James 2:14-17 and Ephesians 2:8-10.  They both say we are saved by faith, but the faith that saves is never alone, it is always accompanied by good works which are the evidence of salvation.  Jesus says this four different times in this passage.  I think he wants us to know that the way we know someone is saved is if they keep His word which is His commandments.  He also tells us that He will send the Holy Spirit to be in us and with us forever.  He will take Jesus place as our encourager and helper in this world.  He also tells us that if we keep His commandments the Father will love us too and He and the Father will come to us and live with us forever since they are coming to make their home with us.

 15 ¶ "If you love Me, keep My commandments. Joh 14:21, 23; 15:10, 14; 1Jo 5:3

V 15-17 Packed into that paragraph are six remarkable facts centering about the person of this other Counselor: First, we learn that he will be a gift from the Father to true believers. I put it that way because our Lord identifies loving obedience as the mark of a true believer. A true believer is one who has been drawn to Christ by love and is ready to obey what he says.

The second thing Jesus says is that this Spirit will be "another," a separate but similar Person to himself.

The third fact Jesus announces is that the Spirit will be a continually abiding presence: He will be "with you forever." That means that the Spirit only comes once into our lives. He does not come again and again. He comes to abide, to dwell with us.

The fourth fact is that the Spirit will be a revealer of truth.

The fifth thing, Jesus says, is that this remarkable new resource is unavailable to the world. "The world cannot receive him because it neither sees him or knows him."

The sixth fact Jesus discloses is that this will be a resource that is available from within. "You know him," he says to these disciples, "for he dwells with you, and will be in you."

There is only one test of love that is valid and that is the test of obedience.

This connection seems designed to teach that the proper temple for the indwelling Spirit of Jesus is a heart filled with that love to Him which lives actively for Him, and so this was the fitting preparation for the promised gift.

 16 "And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever--

Joh 15:26; 16:7; Ro 8:15,26

Now, really there's kind of a pun here, and there are a lot of puns in the New Testament, if you know the Greek language, this is one of them. Jesus here makes a beautiful play on words because He chooses the word paraklētŏs. The word can mean helper and it can mean Comforter. They need a comforter...right? Because they're all torn ... in turmoil. They need to be comforted. That's the point of the whole chapter. So, Jesus says   I'm going to send a Comforter. They need a helper, a power source. He says   I'm going to send a helper. And the pun is He uses the same word for both, paraklētŏs.

There are two words in the Greek for another. One word is heteros ... that means another similar. It doesn't really matter. If I said to you   Give me another pair of glasses, and I use the word heteros, you could give me any¬thing. You could give me sunglasses, motorcycle glasses; you could give me women's glasses, any kind of glasses. It wouldn't make a bit of difference cause heteros means another of any kind. From which we get our word heterodox which means mixed.

But then they had another word. They had a word allŏs which also meant another and it meant another of the exact, identical, specific kind without one single variation. And that's exactly the word used here ... allŏs. Now if I said to you   Give me something allŏs you would have to give every little single detail exactly the same as these are, without one variation. That's the meaning of the word allŏs. And Jesus said to them   When I go away I'm not going to grab bag it and just send you any old helper, I'm going to send you allŏs helper, one exactly, essentially in every detail what I am. Now do you see the theological significance of that word? He is, in effect, saying   I am sending you One exactly the same essence as Myself. And you know that since the disciples understood Greek when He said allŏs that rang the bell and they immediately knew what He was saying. He is not sending back just any old comforter but One exactly like Himself. And did you know that Jesus was, in fact, the first paraklete, He was the original called along side to help? He was the original Comforter. In fact, what do you read here in chapter 14? What's He doing? Comforting. What's He been doing for three years with these men? Helping them. Walking with them... their constant companion. He is the original paraclete.

In fact, in I John 2:1 it even tells us that. It says: "My little children, these things write I unto you that you sin not. If any man sin we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous." And the word advocate is the same word ... paraklētŏs ... Jesus is the original Comforter, the original Paraclete, the original Helper. And when He went away He sent another One back. Now if you just think about that for a minute that means that you as a believer have two Helpers, two Comforters, two Paracletes, two Advocates ... the Spirit of God within you on earth and Christ the Son Of God at the right hand of the Father in heaven.

Its proper sense is an “advocate,” “patron,” “helper.” In this sense it is plainly meant of Christ (1Jn 2:1), and in this sense it comprehends all the comfort as well as aid of the Spirit’s work. The Spirit is here promised as One who would supply Christ’s own place in His absence.

Romans 8:9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you•. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ •does not belong to him.

1 Corinthians 12:13 For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.

Jesus spoke of the Trinity in the following relationships. The Son would request that the Father send the Spirit to take the Son's place as the believer's encourager and strengthener. It was hard for these Jewish believers who had grown up believing that there is but one God to grasp that Jesus was God. It must have been even more difficult for them to think of the Spirit of God as a person rather than as God's influence. Nevertheless  New  Testament  revelation  is  clear  that  there  are  three Persons within the Godhead (e.g., 2 Cor. 13:14).

Both of these English words have connotations that are absent from the Greek word. Helper connotes an inferior, which the Holy Spirit is not. Counsellor can call to mind a camp counsellor or a marriage counsellor whereas a legal counsellor is more in harmony with the Greek idea.

The Spirit of God had come on Old Testament believers temporarily to give them strength, but normally He did not remain with them (cf. Ps.51:11). What Jesus spoke of here was an abiding relationship in which the Spirit remained with believers for the rest of their lives (cf. Rom. 8:9). This  new  relationship  to  the  Holy  Spirit  is  one  of  the  distinctive differences between the church age and former dispensations. It is a blessing few Christians appreciate as we should.

Eze 36:26 "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

 17 "the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. Joh 15:26; 16:13; 1Co 2:14; 1Jo 2:27; 4:6

Jesus now identified the Helper as the Spirit of truth (cf. 15:26; 16:13), that is, the Spirit who would bear witness to and communicate the truth (cf. v. 6; 1:32-33; 3:5-8; 4:23-24; 6:63; 7:37-39).

Why is He called that? Look at chapter 16, verse 13, I'll show you. Very simple, "Nevertheless, when He, the Spirit of truth, is come, He will guide you into" ... what? ... "All truth." That's why He's called the Spirit of truth. He not only is the essence of truth because He's God, but He guides you into truth and thus is He called the Spirit of truth.

"To be filled with the Spirit is the same as to be controlled by the Word. The Spirit of Truth uses the Word of truth to guide us into the will and the work of God."

In the future, after Jesus returned to the Father, the Spirit would not just be with them but in them. This is another distinctive ministry of the Spirit in the present age. He indwells believers (Rom. 8:9; 1 Cor. 12:13). That ministry began on Pentecost when the church began (Acts 2:4; cf. Acts 1:5; 11:15).

Oh, what a statement. He dwells with you. They know who the Holy Spirit is. Why, who is it that's been operating through Christ all these three years? Who is it? It's the Holy Spirit. Christ said He did what He did by the power of the Holy Spirit. In fact, when they attributed His works to Satan Jesus said they had blasphemed not Him but whom? They had blasphemed the Holy Spirit. For it was the Spirit working through Christ and so what is He saying to them? He's saying you know Him, He's been with you. You know the Holy Spirit; He's dwelling with you as He has in all the Old Testament.

Ezekiel in chapter 36, verse 27, and in chapter 37, verse 14, both those verses, Ezekiel gives the, wonderful prophecy   I will put My Spirit within you. And there it has great reference, of course, to the kingdom, and to Israel, but certainly was initially fulfilled in the church age. And so those prophecies, though it not yet totally fulfilled, given by Ezekiel, are first of all prefilled in the church, the Spirit is in us and in a greater sense will also be in us in the Kingdom when the promise is fulfilled to Israel. The New Testament then teaches the Holy Spirit is in is. What did Paul say? "What, know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit." The Spirit is in you.

 18 ¶ "I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. Mt 28:20; Joh 14:3,28

In view of the context that describes the Spirit's coming (vv. 16-17, 25-26), we might conclude that His coming in the Spirit is in view (cf. v. 23). However the passage seems to present Jesus as offering the disciples His personal presence. He had described the coming of the Spirit, but what about His personal return to them? This question, which would have been in the disciples' minds, is what Jesus appears to have been addressing here. He seems to have been referring to a post-resurrection appearance to the disciples (21:1-14). Support for this view is Jesus' assurance that His resurrection would be a pledge of their resurrection. Physical resurrections seem to be in view.

 19 "A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also.

Joh 10:38; 14:10; 16:16; 17:21,23,26; 1Co 15:20

 20 "At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

Joh 10:38; 14:10; 17:21,23,26

Jesus post-resurrection appearances would convince the Eleven of His deity. He described this condition as mutual abiding with the Father (cf. vv. 10-11). Moreover these appearances would also convince them of their union with Jesus. They would do so by confirming Jesus' promises of their union with Him (vv. 13-14). Some  interpreters  take  the  day  in  view  as  referring  to  Pentecost.

However because of the flow of the argument "that day" seems to refer to Easter rather than Pentecost.

 21 "He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him." Joh 14:15,23; 1Jo 2:5; 5:3

This passage does not teach a “works” religion, but rather that one who believes and obeys Christ’s Word is loved by the Lord. Saving faith results in obedience (cf. “the obedience that comes from faith,” Rom. 1:5).

Romans 1:1–4 (ESV) Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, 2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, 3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh 4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, Romans 1:5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, 6 including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,

 The believer's obedience does not make God love him or her more than He would otherwise. God's love for all people is essentially as great as it can be. However in the family relationship that Jesus was describing the believer's obedience allows God to express His love for him or her without restraint. When there is disobedience, God does not express His love as fully because He chooses to discipline the believer (cf. Heb. 12:4-13).

In the context (vv. 18-20), this was a promise that Jesus would disclose Himself to the Eleven after His resurrection and an encouragement for them to continue obeying Him and loving Him.

Some believers love Jesus more than other believers do. This results in some  believers  obeying  Him  more  than  others  and  enjoying  a  more intimate relationship and greater understanding of Him than others enjoy. The way to become a great lover of Jesus is by learning to appreciate the greatness of His love for us (cf. Matt. 18:21-35; 1 John 4:19).

 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, "Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?"

Lu 6:16

You get them so super activated, send them all out there and have the world hate them and not respond to them and you've got problems. So, rather than cause them to go charging into the world without knowledge, unwittingly, expecting much more than was going to happen, Jesus backs up and says   Men, it's going to be like I told you except don't expect the world to accept it all. You are going to do greater things but remember this   the old conflict will still be there, won't it? The unnatural ... the natural man won't see it, it will still be there.

And so, what He does is, He just tempers their enthusiasm. He brings them down to the real issue. You're going to do greater things, but Satan will be bucking it and the world will not understand.

Judas' probably the brother of James question reflects the disciples' understanding that as Messiah Jesus would manifest Himself publicly, which He had taught them (cf. Matt.24:30). The disciples did not understand that Jesus would rise again bodily (20:9)  much  less  that  the  Holy  Spirit  would  come  to  indwell  them.

Therefore it is unlikely that Judas was asking Jesus to clarify the manner of His appearing. Judas wanted to know what Jesus meant when He said that He was not going to disclose Himself publicly but just privately to the Eleven. He and his fellow disciples failed to realize that Jesus would reveal Himself to them privately after His resurrection before He revealed Himself publicly at His second advent.

 23 Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him. Joh 14:15; 1Jo 2:24; Re 3:20

Jesus answered that He and the Father will not manifest themselves to those who are disobedient to His teaching. Obedience grows out of love for Jesus and His Word (cf. vv. 15, 21; 1 John 2:3; 3:22, 24; 5:3). And as a result, the Father and the Son abide (make Our home) with him. “Home” is monēn, the singular of plural monai, translated “rooms” in John 14:2. This word occurs in the New Testament only in those two verses.

Jesus did not clear up Judas' misconception apparently because He wanted to stay on the subject of the importance of loving and obeying Him. He did not deny an eschatological return, but He restated what He had just said about His post-resurrection appearance to the Eleven. Jesus stressed the principle that loving obedience always results in intimate fellowship. He was speaking here about the relationship that believers could have following Pentecost. In the process He again stressed His union with the Father.

"Salvation means we are going to heaven, but submission means that heaven comes to us!

"This truth is illustrated in the experiences of Abraham and Lot, recorded in Genesis 18 and 19. When Jesus and the two angels visited Abraham's tent, they felt right at home. They even enjoyed a meal, and Jesus had a private talk with Abraham. But our Lord did not go to Sodom to visit Lot, because He did not feel at home there. Instead, He sent the two angels. . . .

"Charles Spurgeon said, 'Little faith will take your soul to heaven, but great faith will bring heaven to your soul.' Your heart can become a 'heaven on earth' as you commune with the Lord and worship Him."

In Luke 6, verse 46, Jesus said this  - "Why call ye Me Lord Lord and do not the things I say?" You see, that's the point. That's not genuine salvation.

People say to me - Well, is ... do you think so-and-so's saved? They've made a profession of faith in Christ but they never do this and they never do that, and then never ... "Why call ye Me Lord Lord and do not the things I say?" This is like a man, he goes on to say, who built his house on the sand. Sure, he had a little house there, a little religious house, built it all up. Only thing was, he built it on the wrong foundation. There are many people who say -- Lord, Lord -- and do not the things ... the things that He asks them to do. And someday He'll say to them - I never knew you. But where that love is true and obedience is the fruit, Christ comes and makes His abode. That's the point. And the true lover of Jesus, mark it, will you, friends? ... the true lover of Jesus, this is so important, does obey. Did you know that? There's no option about it. The true lover of Jesus obeys. John 17:6, Jesus reflecting on His own disciples, said this: "I have manifested Thy name unto the men whom Thou gave Me out of the world, Thine they were," from before the foundation of the world, every believer belonged to God, "and Thou gave them to Me and they have kept Thy word." True believers keep the Word. True believers obey. And if you see one who doesn't, I'm not to judge, let the Word of God be their judge.

 24 "He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father's who sent Me. Joh 5:19,38; 7:16; 8:28; 12:49; 14:10

In conclusion, Jesus restated the ethical point He had made in verses 15 and 23a negatively. Lack of love for Jesus will result in lack of obedience to His teachings, which are the revelations of God the Father (cf. 12:49;14:10).

 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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“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 THE CALL TO TELL OTHERS ABOUT CHRIST

18Sep

The late Dr. E. Meyers Harrison, veteran missionary and professor of missions, says that there are four reasons why the church must send out missionaries: (1) the command from above— Mark 16:15 “go ye into all the world” ; (2) the cry from beneath— Luke 16:27 “send him to my father’s house”; (3) the call from without— Acts 16:9 “come over and help us” and (4) the constraint from within— 2 Cor. 5:14. “the love of Christ compels us” Not only are there to be people who are called to do this full time, but you are called to be a missionary for Christ also in mt 28:20 where Jesus says as you go about your going tell others about Christ.  Is this what drives 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.

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

JOHN 14:5-14 JESUS SAID TO HIM, “I AM THE WAY, THE TRUTH, AND THE LIFE. NO ONE COMES TO THE FATHER EXCEPT THROUGH ME

15Sep

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. 7 "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him." 8 Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us." 9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'? 10 "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works. 11 "Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves. 12 ¶ "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. 13 "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 "If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

 Jesus is the way to God because He is the truth from God and the life from God. He is the truth because He embodies God's supreme revelation (1:18; 5:19; 8:29).John 1:18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. He is the life because He contains and imparts divine life. Jesus is not merely One who has shown men the way; He is the way. It is His death, resurrection, and ascension that has made a way for men to spend eternity with God in heaven. He is not merely a way; He is the way. He is the one and only way that God has provided for men to obtain the forgiveness of their sins and the gift of eternal life. Lest anyone miss this point, Jesus says it again, in the plainest of words: “No one comes to the Father except through Me.” To know Jesus is to know the way to the Father, for He is the way. This was an exclusive claim to being the only way to heaven. John 10:9 "I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

Ac 4:12 "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

1Ti 2:5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,

 It is only because of Jesus Christ's work on the cross that anyone can enter heaven. Since He has come it is only through faith in the promise  of  God  that  His  cross  work  satisfied  the  Father  that  anyone experiences regeneration John 1:12; 3:16;

1John 2:2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

  1. Trust My person

 4 "And where I go you know, and the way you know."

Jesus could say that the Eleven knew the way to the place where He was going because He had revealed that faith in Him led to eternal life (3:14-15). This had been a major theme of His teaching throughout His ministry. However, they did not understand Him as they should have (v. 5).

These four verses answered Peter's initial question about where Jesus was going (13:36).

 5 Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?"

14:5     Thomas   voiced   the   disciples'   continuing   confusion   about   Jesus' destination.  Apparently the “Father’s house” did not clearly identify heaven to them. Without a clear understanding of the final destination they could not be sure of the route there. Thomas' question was a request for an unambiguous explanation of Jesus' and their destination and how He and they would get there.

Jesus has just told His disciples that He is going to “His Father’s house” so that they can be with Him there. He then tells them that “they know the way where He is going” (verse 4). Thomas chooses to differ with His Master. He says, in effect, “Master, we don’t know your destination, so how can we possibly know the way to get there?” But Thomas was wrong. They did know where Jesus was going. They had simply forgotten it, or at least put it out of their minds. Over and over again Jesus had told them that He had come from the Father in heaven, and that He was going to return there: “For I have come down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me” (6:38).

 6 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.

John 1:4, 17; 8:19, 32; 10:9; 11:25; Heb 9:8

This is the sixth of Jesus "I am" claims (cf. 6:48; 8:12; 10:9, 11; 11:25; 15:1).

Jesus was summarizing and connecting many of the revelations about Himself that He had previously given the Eleven.

It is an exclusive place – 1+1 always is two, phone company and dialing the right numbers in the right order, take the right medicine in the right doses at the right time.

Jesus is the way to God because He is the truth from God and the life from God. He is the truth because He embodies God's supreme revelation (1:18; 5:19; 8:29).

Joh 1:18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.

 He is the life because He contains and imparts divine life (1:4; 5:26; 11:25; cf. 1 John

Christ is “the Way” to the Father—“no man cometh unto the Father but by Me”;

The "way" is slightly more dominant in view of Thomas' question and its position in relation to the "truth" and the "life."

Jesus is not merely One who has shown men the way; He is the way. It is His death, resurrection, and ascension that has made a way for men to spend eternity with God in heaven. He is not merely a way; He is the way. He is the one and only way that God has provided for men to obtain the forgiveness of their sins and the gift of eternal life. Lest anyone miss this point, Jesus says it again, in the plainest of words: “No one comes to the Father except through Me.” To know Jesus is to know the way to the Father, for He is the way.

Jesus was not saying that He was one way to God among many. He was not saying that He pointed the way to God either. He said that no one comes to God the Father but through faith in Himself.

This was an exclusive claim to being the only way to heaven

John 10:9 "I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

Ac 4:12 "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."

1Ti 2:5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus,

 It is only because of Jesus Christ's work on the cross that anyone can enter heaven. Since He has come it is only through faith in the promise  of  God  that  His  cross  work  satisfied  the  Father  that  anyone experiences regeneration 1:12; 3:16;

1Jo 2:2 And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world.

Since He has come, rejection of God's revelation through Him results in eternal damnation (3:36).

"He not only shows people the way (i.e., by revealing it), but he is the way (i.e., he redeems us). In this connection

'The truth' . . . will have saving significance. It will point to Jesus' utter dependability, but also to the saving truth of the gospel.

Jesus is also the truth. He does, of course, teach the truth. His words are truth. But beyond this, He is the truth.  He is the “wisdom” of Proverbs chapter 8. All truth has its source in Him, as the Apostle Paul writes: “My goal is that their hearts, having been knit together in love, may be encouraged, and that they may have all the riches of full assurance in their understanding of the knowledge of the mystery of God, namely, Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Colossians 2:2-3).

1Peter 1.3-4 He is all the truth that men need for salvation, life, and godliness. This is why Paul restricted his preaching to proclaiming Christ and Christ crucified. The “wisdom” which the false teachers taught was contrary to the truth which is in Jesus. It is this “truth” in Jesus which reveals God to men, which discloses the way to eternal life, which is the basis for sanctification, and which provides the content of the gospel.

1 John 5:20 (ESV) 20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life

Finally, Jesus is the life. We know that He has raised the dead to life. In John’s Gospel, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, after he had been in the tomb four days! Jesus gives life, but this is because He is the source of life. He is the One who called heaven and earth (and the church) into existence (John 1:1-5; Colossians 1:15-20). To reject Him is to reject life and to choose death (see John 5:21-40; 6:33-63). Because He is the life, His life cannot be taken away from Him. He lays it down, just as He has authority to take it up again (John 10:17-18).

'The life' (see on 1:4) will likewise take its content from the gospel. Jesus is both life and the source of life to believers."

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. Without the way there is no going; without the truth there is no knowing; without the life there is no living. I am the way which thou shouldest pursue; the truth which thou shouldest believe; the life which thou shouldest hope for” (Thomas à Kempis, “Imitation of Christ, iii” 56). [i]

He had already said plainly that He would die and rise again at least three times (cf. Mark 8:31-32; 9:30-32; 10:32-34).   Nevertheless   the   disciples'   preconceptions   of   Messiah's ministry did not allow them to interpret His words literally.

"We should not overlook the faith involved both in the utterance and in the acceptance of those words, spoken as they were on the eve of the crucifixion.’I am the Way,' said one who would shortly hang impotent on a cross. 'I am the Truth,' when the lies of evil people were about to enjoy a spectacular triumph. 'I am the Life,' when within a matter of hours his corpse would be placed in a tomb."

Revelation of A new relationship

Revelation of A new ministry

Revelation of A new promise

 7 "If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; and from now on you know Him and have seen Him."

John 8:19

Rather, had learned to know, through my successive revelations of myself.

Greek construction of from now on speaks of it as it had already been done, it was so certain that the Spirit would come and they would know Him and see Him spiritually that it is spoken of this way

 To know Jesus is to know the Father (verse 7). The disciples have not known Jesus fully, but from the time of His glorification they will know Him and the Father. Indeed, Jesus can not only say that they have known the Father, but that they have seen the Father, in Him.

To know by personal experience, Thomas and the rest had not really come to know Jesus, much as they loved him. [ii]

 Because they had seen Jesus who is the Son of God, the Image of God, and is God (1:18). Hence God is like Jesus Christ. It is a bold and daring claim to deity. The only understandable idea of God is precisely what Jesus here says. God is like Christ.

 8 Philip said to Him, "Lord, show us the Father, and it is sufficient for us."

Show us Philip now speaks up, possibly hoping for a theophany (Ex. 33:18 Moses said, “Please show me your glory, certainly not grasping the idea of Jesus just expressed.

 9 Jesus said to him, "Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; so how can you say, 'Show us the Father'?

Safest thou (σὺ). Emphatic. Thou who didst say, “We have found him of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write” (1:46). Omit and before how sayest thou.

Joh 12:45; Col 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

Heb 1:3 who being the brightness of His glory and the express image of His person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high,

Col 2:9 For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;

2Co 4:4 whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.

Not modalism – Not the Father in creation, Son in salvation, Spirit in regeneration.

 10 "Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works.

Joh 5:19; 7:16; 8:28; 10:38; 12:49; 14:20; 17:21, 23

 11 "Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.

Joh 5:36; 10:38 Says it twice I am in the Father and the Father in Me

The proof of the union of Jesus and His Father is threefold. They should believe Jesus (a) because of His character (I am in the Father [cf. v. 20] and … the Father is in Me); (b) because His words are the Father’s (The words I say to you are not just My own (cf. 7:16; 12:49-50; 14:24); and (c) because the miracles reveal God’s working through Him (the Father, living in Me … is doing His work… . believe on the evidence of the miracles themselves; cf. 5:36). One of the key elements in John’s Gospel is the stress on the signs as gracious pointers to faith (cf. 5:36; 10:25, 38; 11:47; 12:37; 20:30-31).[iii]

If you do not believe on the authority of my personal statement

Believest thou not? Jesus had a right to expect greater faith from these men than from the blind man (9:35) or Martha (11:27). His words in 14:1 are clearly needed. This oneness with the Father Jesus had already stated (10:38) as shown by his “words” and his “works” Cf. 3:34; 5:19; 6:62.

12 ¶ "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.

Mt 21:21; Mr 16:17; Lu 10:17

Not greater spiritual works in quality, but greater in quantity. Cf. Peter at Pentecost and Paul’s mission tours. “

Peter in one sermon had 3,000 converts

Greater works. Not more remarkable miracles, but referring to the wider work of the apostolic ministry under the dispensation of the Spirit. This work was of a higher nature than mere bodily cures. Godet truthfully says: “That which was done by St. Peter at Pentecost, by St. Paul all over the world that which is effected by an ordinary preacher, a single believer, by bringing the Spirit into the heart, could not be done by Jesus during His sojourn in this world.” Jesus’ personal ministry in the flesh must be a local ministry. Only under the dispensation of the Spirit could it be universal.

Ac 2:43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.

Ac 5:12 And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people; (and they were all with one accord in Solomon's porch. 13 And of the rest dared  not join himself to them: but the people magnified them. 14 And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women. 15 Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them. 16  There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.

2Co 12:12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.

Ro 15:18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient-- 19 in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

Jesus’ personal ministry in the flesh must be a local ministry. Only under the dispensation of the Spirit could it be universal.[iv]

 13 "And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

Mt 7:7; 21:22; Mr 11:24; Lu 11:9; Joh 15:7,16; 16:23-24; Jas 1:5; 1Jo 3:22; 5:14

In my name. The first occurrence of the phrase. See on Matt. 28:19. Prayer is made in the name of Jesus, “if this name, Jesus Christ, the prayer in Christ’s name must be consistent with Christ’s character,

Was Jesus saying that we have unlimited power over God in determining what He will or will not do for us if we simply pray in Jesus’ name? Clearly not, for this would be out of accord with the rest of the scriptural witness. God is sovereign overall and subject to none. We are to pray in accordance with the will of God as exhibited in the life and teaching of Jesus. When we pray in that manner, surely it will be answered. To pray in Jesus’ name is to pray in accord with Jesus’ will and mission. Such a prayer request is far different from an idea of prayer as some type of shopping list handed to God that He is then bound to perform. Yet the enormous spiritual power that courses through the spiritual veins of the believer should not be underestimated in light of our involvement with the growing kingdom of God. The Holy Spirit empowers believers to do and to be all that Christ would have us to do and to be.

 14 "If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

 15 ¶ "If you love Me, keep My commandments. Joh 14:21, 23; 15:10, 14; 1Jo 5:3

V 15-17 Packed into that paragraph are six remarkable facts centering about the person of this other Counselor: First, we learn that he will be a gift from the Father to true believers. I put it that way because our Lord identifies loving obedience as the mark of a true believer. A true believer is one who has been drawn to Christ by love and is ready to obey what he says.

The second thing Jesus says is that this Spirit will be "another," a separate but similar Person to himself.

The third fact Jesus announces is that the Spirit will be a continually abiding presence: He will be "with you forever." That means that the Spirit only comes once into our lives. He does not come again and again. He comes to abide, to dwell with us.

The fourth fact is that the Spirit will be a revealer of truth.

The fifth thing, Jesus says, is that this remarkable new resource is unavailable to the world. "The world cannot receive him because it neither sees him or knows him."

The sixth fact Jesus discloses is that this will be a resource that is available from within. "You know him," he says to these disciples, "for he dwells with you, and will be in you."

There is only one test of love that is valid and that is the test of obedience.

This connection seems designed to teach that the proper temple for the indwelling Spirit of Jesus is a heart filled with that love to Him which lives actively for Him, and so this was the fitting preparation for the promised gift.[v]

Jesus is the way to God because He is the truth from God and the life from God. He is the truth because He embodies God's supreme revelation (1:18; 5:19; 8:29).John 1:18 No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him. He is the life because He contains and imparts divine life. Jesus is not merely One who has shown men the way; He is the way. It is His death, resurrection, and ascension that has made a way for men to spend eternity with God in heaven. He is not merely a way; He is the way. He is the one and only way that God has provided for men to obtain the forgiveness of their sins and the gift of eternal life. Lest anyone miss this point, Jesus says it again, in the plainest of words: “No one comes to the Father except through Me.” To know Jesus is to know the way to the Father, for He is the way. This was an exclusive claim to being the only way to heaven. John 10:9 "I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

 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.

 

[i] Vincent, M. R. (2002). Word studies in the New Testament (Jn 14:6). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[ii] Robertson, A. (1997). Word Pictures in the New Testament (Jn 14:7). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems.

[iii] Walvoord, J. F., Zuck, R. B., & Dallas Theological Seminary. (1983-). The Bible knowledge commentary : An exposition of the scriptures (Jn 14:10–11). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.

[iv] Vincent, M. R. (2002). Word studies in the New Testament (Jn 14:12). Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[v] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., Fausset, A. R., Brown, D., & Brown, D. (1997). A commentary, critical and explanatory, on the Old and New Testaments (Jn 14:15). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL 2 TIMOTHY 3:1 HE IS ENOUGH

11Sep

2 Timothy 3:1 But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:  2 For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, 4 traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, Praying today that you realize that Jesus is enough, the things of this world will never satisfy, He will fill the emptiness and make you whole. I see so many people that chase the world and it always leads to disaster in their life and their families fall apart. Don't go for all the gusto you can get, go for all the God you can get. HE IS ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

JOHN 13:36-14:6 JESUS SAID LET NOT YOUR HEART BE TROUBLED; YOU BELIEVE IN GOD, BELIEVE ALSO IN ME.

8Sep

John 13:36 Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, where are You going?" Jesus answered him, "Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward." 37 Peter said to Him, "Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake." 38 Jesus answered him, "Will you lay down your life for My sake? Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times. 14:1"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 "In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

 Today’s Scripture deals with the time in the upper room where Jesus and the disciples are having the last supper. Jesus is giving final instructions to them before He leaves earth so they can deal with all that life will throw at them.  Peter does not understand why he cannot go with Jesus; he has gone with Him everywhere for 3 years and does not want Jesus to leave him and the disciples. Peter goes so far as to say he will die for Jesus.  Jesus then tells Peter that he will deny Him three times before the rooster crows.  He then begins to tell them it is going to be alright and they need not be troubled.  He tells them to trust in Him and believe in Him as they already do in God the Father, because He is God and is equal with the Father. Jesus knows they are in a really bad place and He wants to assure them that it will be okay and that He is going to prepare a place for them so they can be with Him forever.

 36 Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, where are You going?" Jesus answered him, "Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward."

I think Peter was so shocked by our Lord’s words in verse 33 that he just couldn’t get past them. Peter “locked in” on what Jesus had said about going away. He wanted to know where Jesus was going and why he could not go with Him. He had followed Him all this way, all the way to Jerusalem. There was no turning back for him. He was committed to follow Jesus. And now Jesus is talking about going somewhere where he cannot follow? No way! Not for Peter.

Jesus answers Peter’s question indirectly, but even this oblique reply should have given Peter some comfort. Jesus was going somewhere where Peter could not follow Him now, but he will, Jesus said, “follow later.” That is not good enough for Peter. The word “now” is foremost in Peter’s mind. He does not want to wait. He wants to follow Jesus now, wherever that might be.

Peter does not seem to have a clue that Jesus is talking about going to the Father in heaven. He seems fixed on the idea that Jesus is going to change His place of residence on earth. Peter seems to be reasoning something like this: “Jesus says He’s going somewhere, and I can’t follow. He won’t say where, and He won’t say why. It must be the danger. He doesn’t want me coming along because it’s too dangerous. He doesn’t think I can take it. Well, I’ll let Him know that I can handle anything anyone dishes out …

 37 Peter said to Him, "Lord, why can I not follow You now? I will lay down my life for Your sake."

 38 Jesus answered him, "Will you lay down your life for My sake? Most assuredly, I say to you, the rooster shall not crow till you have denied Me three times. (NKJV)

In his excellent commentary on the Gospel of John, William Hendriksen points out some very informative facts about Peter’s words here and in the Synoptic Gospels. Let me cite them:

In connection with this boast a few additional facts must be noted:

  1. Peter spoke these words both before and after Christ’s prediction which is recorded in 13:38, as is clear from Matt. 26:33-35; Mark 14:29-31. Evidently, at the time, the words of Jesus, telling Peter that in spite of his boasting he would do the very thing which he promised so emphatically not to do, failed to register. Peter was too sure of himself.
  2. He used very emphatic language. Note the double negative in Matt. 26:35, so that the boast may be rendered: ‘I will certainly not deny thee.’ And compare: ‘I will never be ensnared.’
  3. He spoke with great vehemence (Mark 14:31), evidently not at all pleased with the fact that Jesus had a different opinion.
  4. The passage here in John indicates that Peter’s boast was not only negative ‘I will not be ensnared,’ ‘I will not deny’) but also positive: ‘My life for thee I will lay down.’ Luke 22:33 supplies the commentary.
  5. His self-reliant exclamation was copied by the others: ‘Likewise also said all the disciples.’ Not a single one among these disciples knew his own heart. Notice the three ‘all’s’: ‘You will all be ensnared (Mark 14:27), said Jesus. They all said, ‘Impossible’ (for exact words see Matt. 26:35). ‘Then all the disciples left him and fled’ (Matt. 26:56).

Though not one of the disciples knew his own heart, yet while all were ensnared, Peter went much farther: he denied that he even knew the Master at all; see on 18:15-17; 18:25-27; cf. Matt. 26:69-75.[1]

Here, then, is our first lesson, is it not? The one who is most confident that he will not fall is the most likely to fall.

The second thing that I find emphasized in this text is that Jesus is in complete control.

I believe the most important lesson in our text is about true love. This chapter virtually oozes with the love of our Lord for His disciples (e.g. 13:1). Placed neatly between our Lord’s words on His imminent glorification and departure and His prophecy of Peter’s denial are verses 34 and 35, which contain our Lord’s instruction to His disciples to “love one another.” Was Peter’s problem not a lack of love? I would simply remind you that after Peter’s denial, our Lord’s death, and His resurrection, Jesus addressed Peter directly about his love and his service (John 21). Love seems to be a major issue for Peter. The thing he passed over so abruptly in our text, he must deal with much more seriously at the end of this Gospel.

As I close, let me do so with the words of the late Dr. John G. Mitchell:

There are three measurements of a disciple. We had the first in chapter 8: ‘If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free’ (8:31-32). The second measurement is here. ‘By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.’ Remember, ‘love suffers long, and is kind’ (1 Corinthians 13:4). The third measurement of discipleship is in chapter 15. ‘Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples’ (15:8).

God grant that we Christians, we who love Him, we who have been redeemed by His precious blood, may wear the badge of discipleship. It is genuine love one for another and especially with frail, stumbling believers.

My friend, this rules out all divisions. It rules out all bitterness and jealousy and envy among God’s people. It rules out all pettiness and smallness and shallowness. How much are we to love each other? As Christ loves us. This is the measure of it.[2]

So what are the implications of this scene for us today, do you think?

 I think there are two big lessons. 

Number one, we have to look beyond suffering in this world to the face of the Father.

"This physical infirmity is nothing compared to what Christ endured not only physically but spiritually, in a way we can't comprehend."

 And so, for me it's a very powerful reminder. You have got to look beyond the life now and the suffering you endure and try to look in the face of the Father that somehow He's going to use this. I don't know how. I don't like it, but that's faith and it's a requirement.

 And secondly, I think when, not if, when we deny Christ, He extends mercy. He extends forgiveness. He gives many opportunities again and again and again for us to repent, but the issue becomes, will we, like Peter, go on record saying you know, "I love You. I love You. I love You. I'll do whatever You ask me to do. Forgive me for my sins."

 And what a great way Christ restored Peter after his denial.

And in some cases our denial is not the kind of active denial that Peter displayed where we say, "I don't know you."

 It's a more passive kind of denial where we simply failed to respond in obedience. Where we don't do what we know we ought to do. That's denying Christ as well.

Peter's question was only the first of several that the disciples proceeded to ask Jesus. This shows their bewilderment and discouragement. They should have been comforting Him in view of what lay ahead of Him (12:27; 13:21), but instead Jesus graciously proceeded to comfort them by clarifying what lay ahead of them.

Jesus was troubled because of what lay before Him, and the Eleven were troubled (Gr. tarassestho) because they did not understand what lay before them. Jesus had just told them that He was going to leave them (13:33), but they had forsaken all to follow Him. Jesus had said that Peter would deny Him implying that some great trial was imminent (13:38

  1. Trust my Presence

1 "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me.

Joh 14:27; 16:22-23

1Pe 1:8 whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory,

Probably in both clauses Jesus meant to give an imperative command: "Believe in God; believe also in me." This makes the most sense in the context, as most of the modern English translations have concluded. He meant, "Stop being troubled." Jesus was telling the disciples (plural "your") to trust in God and to trust in Him just as they trusted in God. This was a strong claim to deity and a great comfort. They could rely on what He was about to tell them as coming from God.

The NASB translates the singular "heart" (Gr. kardia) that Jesus used collectively. The heart is metaphorically the center of personality.

“Don’t be distressed that I am going away, and that you cannot come with me right now. You believe in God, don’t you? Can you see Him? Does He have a physical body that you can see and touch? No. I am going away, and you will not be able to see Me as you have for these past three years. I challenge you, therefore, to believe in Me in the same way that you believe in God the Father, as your unseen Lord. I will be just as real in My absence as I have ever been while dwelling among you.”

The disciples don’t want this to change. They want a God who is not only near them, but one who can be seen and touched.[i] It is better that Jesus returns to the Father, and that they begin to worship Him just as they do the Father. Strangely enough, while He will no longer be with them as He once was, they will come to know Him more intimately than they ever did while He was with them.

What we read in verse 1 is not really that difficult for us, as Gentiles, but let us remember that our Lord’s words would have stuck in the throat of a Jew. As early as John chapter 5, the Jews are violently reacting to our Lord’s claim to be equal with God. The Jews did not (and do not) believe in the Trinity, and thus our Lord’s exhortation to His disciples to believe in Him as they did the Father would sound blasphemous. Our Lord’s claims and teaching are revolutionary to the Jews living in those times, including our Lord’s disciples

Let me sum up a very important principle which Jesus is teaching His disciples in the first verses of chapter 14: The relationship which Jesus sustained for a few years with His disciples was temporary and exceptional. In the light of His imminent death, burial, resurrection, and return to the Father in heaven, they must now relate to Him in a very different manner—the same manner in which they relate to God the Father.

Carson writes, “Despite the clarity of Jesus’ claim, the apostles cannot accept it at face value. Steeped in Jewish heritage in which monotheism played so strong a part, they could scarcely conceive of a Trinitarian monotheism like that which Christians came in time to confess. They were still maintaining a fundamental chasm between Jesus and the Father. Sad to tell, some of Jesus’ most bitter opponents discerned what Jesus was claiming more swiftly than did his apostles. We seek to stone you, they said, ‘for blasphemy, because you, a mere man, claim to be God’ (10:33). But at this late date, Philip can still ask, ‘Lord, show us the Father and that will be enough for us’ 14:8

The “Jesus” that Peter rebuked and resisted (Matthew 16:21-23; John 13:6-8) came as one whose deity and glory was “veiled” (not set aside), and who was not recognized for who He really was:

Isaiah 53:1-4, NKJV 1 Who has believed our report? And to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed? 2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant, And as a root out of dry ground. He has no form or comeliness; And when we see Him, There is no beauty that we should desire Him. 3 He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. 4 Surely He has borne our griefs And carried our sorrows; Yet we esteemed Him stricken, Smitten by God, and afflicted.

The glory which the disciples beheld was not evident by His physical appearance or earthly form. When Jesus was transfigured, His glory was seen by the inner three, but there His appearance changed or was transformed, so that they saw Him differently than they usually did. Jesus, as He appeared at His transfiguration, was like the One who appeared to John in Revelation. Those who desire to “turn back the clock” to the “good old days” when we would have been able to walk and talk with Jesus wish for something that never was, and can never be. When we see our Lord at His second coming, He will not look like the Jesus we read about in the Gospels. Let us therefore be careful not to wish for a return to the “good old days” of our Lord’s presence as the disciples experienced it when they followed Him on this earth. Times have never been better for true believers than since our Lord’s departure, and they will be even better yet when He returns!

  1. Trust my Promises

 2 "In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Joh 13:33, 36

To be in the Father’s house is to be in Christ

The emphasis is not on the luxuriousness of the facility as much as its adequacy to accommodate all believers. Other revelation about heaven stresses its magnificence (e.g., Rev. 21:1—22:5).

Another son would be married and he would attach another wing to the same house. Pretty soon they would marry and they would close it in almost so that the patio was in the middle and everyone lived around the patio...the father, the sons all the way around and the relatives. Now that's what it's talking about and it's not talking about tenement rooms, it's the idea of total dwelling, like a very full and complete apartment but all surrounding the same patio.

Verse 16 of Revelation 21, "And the city lies foursquare and the length is as large as the breadth and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal." Now that's 1500 miles approximately, 1500 miles in every direction of a cube. An Australian engineer named Thomas calculated that would be two million, two hundred and fifty thousand square miles. To give you a reference point, London is 140 square miles. That city is two million, two hundred and fifty-thousand square miles. And at the ratio of population in London, it could hold a hundred thousand million people unglorified. Glorified, who knows? It could hold thirty times the population of our world right now and still have plenty of room to spare. Now that's many dwelling places.

The bad news for the disciples (so far as they perceived it) was that Jesus was going away without them. The good news puts all this into perspective. He is going to His Father’s house; He is going back to heaven. He is going there to prepare a place for His disciples, so that they can be with Him for all eternity. His Father’s house has plenty of “dwelling places.” The word “mansions” is not really accurate, as both Leon Morris and D. A. Carson point out to us:

The Greek word translated in the King James Version as ‘mansions’ is found only here and in verse 23 in the New Testament. It is connected with the verb that means ‘to abide, dwell,’ which is used quite often in chapter 15. It points to places to stay. The translation ‘mansions’ is due to the fact that when Jerome translated the New Testament into Latin he used the word mansiones at this point, and the King James translators used the English word that came closest to that. But the Latin word means ‘lodging-places’; it refers to places to stay and not to elaborate houses. 

The King James Version promises ‘many mansions’ rather than ‘many rooms’; and no doubt the prospect of an eternal mansion is more appealing to many than the prospect of an eternal room. The word mansion has called forth quite a number of songs which picture eternal bliss in largely materialistic categories: ‘I’ve got a mansion just over the hilltop,’ we sing, scarcely able to restrain our imaginations from counting the valets at our beck and call. ‘A tent or a cottage, why should I care? They’re building a palace for me over there.’ Here we even manage to upgrade ‘mansion’ to ‘palace.’ 

Jesus had previously spoken of His departure as including His death, His resurrection, and His ascension (13:31-32, 36). Consequently He probably had all of that in view when He spoke about going to prepare a place for believers. His death and resurrection, as well as His ascension and return to heaven, would prepare a place for them. The place, the Father's house or heaven, already existed when Jesus spoke these words. He would not go to heaven to create a place for believers there. Rather all that He would do from His death to His return to heaven would constitute preparation for believers to join Him there ultimately. The idea that Jesus is presently constructing dwelling places for believers in heaven and has been doing so for 2,000 years is not what Jesus meant here. Jesus' going itself prepared the place.

 3 "And if I go (When I go- 3rd class condition) and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.

Joh 12:26; 14:18, 28; 17:24; Ac 1:11; 1Th 4:17

Our knowledge of Heaven is limited as was Thomas’ knowledge, John 14:5. Jesus told him that we don’t need to know because He will personally come to get us.

The question must occur to the reader, “But why is it taking Him so long to prepare this place for us? After all, doesn’t the Father’s house already have many dwelling places? Is Jesus taking up carpentry again, in heaven, and busily building rooms for His followers?” I think we know better than that. It only took seven days to create the heavens and the earth, so why is it taking Him so long to make a place ready for us?

While on this earth, Jesus referred to the temple as His Father’s house (John 2:16; 14:2). Now, it is apparent that He is speaking of His heavenly “home” and not the temple in Jerusalem. In heaven, there will be no temple, for God’s place of dwelling will be with His saints:

Revelation 21:1-4, 22-27 1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and earth had ceased to exist, and the sea existed no more. 2 And I saw the holy city—the new Jerusalem—descending out of heaven from God, made ready like a bride adorned for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying: “Look! The residence of God is among men and women. He will live among them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. 4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death will not exist anymore—or mourning, or crying, or pain; the former things have ceased to exist.” … 22 Now I saw no temple in the city, because the Lord God All-Powerful is its temple, and the Lamb. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, because the glory of God lights it up, and its lamp is the Lamb. 24 The nations will walk by its light and the kings of the earth will bring their grandeur into it. 25 Its gates will never be closed during the day (for there will be no night there). 26 They will bring the grandeur and the wealth of the nations into it, 27 but nothing ritually unclean will ever enter into it, nor anyone who does what is detestable or practices falsehood, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Compare this passage in Revelation with these texts from Ephesians and 1 Peter:

Ephesians 2:19-22 19 So then you are no longer foreigners and non-citizens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of God’s household, 20 because you have been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.

1 Peter 2:4-10 4 So as you come to him, a living stone rejected by men but chosen and priceless in God’s sight, 5 you yourselves as living stones are built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood and to offer spiritual sacrifices that are acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 6 For it says in Scripture, “See, I lay in Zion a stone, a chosen and priceless cornerstone, and whoever believes in him will never be put to shame.” 7 So you who believe see his value, but for those who do not believe, the stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone, 8 and a stumbling-stone and a rock to trip over. They stumble because they disobey the word, as they were destined to do. 9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 You once were not a people, but now you are God’s people. You were shown no mercy but now you have received mercy.

If the “place” our Lord is preparing is this heavenly temple, a house made up of living stones (saints), then this “house” will not be completed until the last of His saints are brought to faith.

God is delaying the outpouring of His wrath on guilty sinners, destined to condemnation, so that He might manifest His grace by saving those who are His “objects of mercy.” The punishment of guilty sinners is delayed until the full measure of those prepared for glory are saved. This, in my opinion, is what our Lord is presently preparing—a holy temple, a congregation of believers in whom, and among whom, He will dwell for all eternity. When the disciples comprehend what Jesus is saying here, they will look on His “absence” in an entirely different light. It is better for them that He leave them, for a time, so that they may dwell with Him for all eternity.

Since Jesus spoke of returning from heaven to take believers there, the simplest   explanation   seems   to   be   that   He   was   referring   to   an eschatological bodily return (cf. Acts 1:11). Though these disciples undoubtedly did not realize it at the time, Jesus was evidently speaking of His return for them at the Rapture rather than His return at the Second Coming.

Other Scripture clarifies that when Jesus returns at the Rapture it will be to call His own to heaven immediately (1 Thess. 4:13-18).479  In contrast, when He returns at the Second Coming it will be to remain on the earth and reign for 1,000 years (Rev. 19:11—20:15).

It is important to note that Jesus did not say that the purpose of this future coming to receive believers is so that He can be where they are—on the earth. Instead, He said that the purpose is so that they can be where He is—in heaven."

This the purpose of the departure and the return of Christ. And this is heaven for the believer to be where Jesus is and with him forever.[ii]

Here in John 14 the Lord gives a new and unique revelation; He speaks of something which no prophet had promised, or even could promise. Where is it written that this Messiah would come and instead of gathering His saints into an earthly Jerusalem, would take them to the Father's house, to the very place where He is? It is something new. . . . He speaks then of a coming which is not for the deliverance of the Jewish remnant, not of a coming to establish His kingdom over the earth, not of a coming to judge the nations, but a coming which concerns only His own."

 The emphasis in this prediction is on the comfort that reunion with the departed Savior guarantees (cf. 1 Thess. 4:18). Jesus will personally come for His own, and He will receive them to Himself. They will also be with Him where He has been (cf. 17:24). Jesus was stressing His personal concern for His disciples' welfare. His return would be as certain as His departure. The greatest blessing of heaven will be our ceaseless personal fellowship with the Lord Jesus there, not the splendor of the place.

  1. Trust My person

 4 "And where I go you know, and the way you know."

Jesus could say that the Eleven knew the way to the place where He was going because He had revealed that faith in Him led to eternal life (3:14-15). This had been a major theme of His teaching throughout His ministry. However, they did not understand Him as they should have (v. 5).

These four verses answered Peter's initial question about where Jesus was going (13:36).

 5 Thomas said to Him, "Lord, we do not know where You are going, and how can we know the way?"

14:5     Thomas   voiced   the   disciples'   continuing   confusion   about   Jesus' destination.  Apparently the “Father’s house” did not clearly identify heaven to them. Without a clear understanding of the final destination they could not be sure of the route there. Thomas' question was a request for an unambiguous explanation of Jesus' and their destination and how He and they would get there.

Jesus has just told His disciples that He is going to “His Father’s house” so that they can be with Him there. He then tells them that “they know the way where He is going” (verse 4). Thomas chooses to differ with His Master. He says, in effect, “Master, we don’t know your destination, so how can we possibly know the way to get there?” But Thomas was wrong. They did know where Jesus was going. They had simply forgotten it, or at least put it out of their minds. Over and over again Jesus had told them that He had come from the Father in heaven, and that He was going to return there: “For I have come down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of the one who sent me” (6:38).

 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.

[1] William Hendriksen, Exposition of the Gospel According to John, 2 vols. (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1953-1954), vol. 2, pp. 255-256.

[2] John G. Mitchell, with Dick Bohrer, An Everlasting Love: A Devotional Study of the Gospel of John (Portland: Multnomah Press, 1982), pp. 261-262.

[i] This seems to be the case with Mary Magdalene as well, as can be seen in John 20:11-18, especially verse 17.

[ii] Robertson, A. (1997). Word Pictures in the New Testament (Jn 14:3). Oak Harbor: Logos Research Systems.

LIVING VICTORIOUSLY IN THE POWER OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

4Sep

In John 16:5-7 we see that Jesus is telling his disciples He is going away, but they are more concerned with themselves than they are that Jesus will die. They are sorrowful because of their loss, not His dying. Then Jesus tells them it is necessary that He goes away so that the Holy Spirit can come to live in them and through them. Jesus in His Earthly body could only be in one place at a time, but Romans 8:9 says the Holy Spirit indwells all Christians and gives us the power to live the Christian life. Are you strong in the Lord and in the power of His might? Because without Him we can do nothing.

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

JOHN 13:27-35 SO, WHEN HE HAD GONE OUT, JESUS SAID, “NOW THE SON OF MAN IS GLORIFIED, AND GOD IS GLORIFIED IN HIM

1Sep

John 13:27 Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, "What you do, do quickly." 28 But no one at the table knew for what reason He said this to him. 29 For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus had said to him, "Buy those things we need for the feast," or that he should give something to the poor. 30 Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately. And it was night. 31 So, when he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him. 32 "If God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and glorify Him immediately. 33 "Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, 'Where I am going, you cannot come,' so now I say to you. 34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

 In this section of Scripture we see that Jesus has given Judas the bread and at that point, the devil enters Judas.  Judas willingly invited the devil into his life and it cost him all of eternity in hell.  Jesus tells him to go ahead and betray Him since that is what Judas intended to do. When Judas has left Jesus states that now He (the Son of Man) is glorified. What Jesus means is the way He is going to be glorified is by dying on the cross for our sins. Jesus speaks of it as if it had already happened, since it was going to and He knew it would.  Judas goes out and it is night, there is a double meaning here since John always speaks of darkness as error, lies, and sin.  Then Jesus proceeds to tell them He is going to heaven even though He says it in terms they don’t understand.   Lastly, Jesus gives us that famous statement a new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."  We are to love one another no matter what happens is what He is saying.  He then says it will be known that we belong to Jesus is by the way we show our love to each other.

 27 Now after the piece of bread, Satan entered him. Then Jesus said to him, "What you do, do quickly."

In effect, Jesus dismissed Judas from the table. Judas may not have intended to go out till later. It seems to me that it was necessary for Judas to leave at this time. First, it would assure that the timing of His death was right—something more important to Jesus than to Judas, or even the Jewish religious leaders. Second, it would remove Judas, so that Jesus could speak intimately and openly with His true disciples. In some ways, Judas had already been gently excluded from certain things. He was not one of the inner three: Peter, James, and John. He surely was not one of those sent to make preparations for the Passover celebration. This would have enabled him to betray Jesus at the wrong time and place. Now, Judas is excluded from our Lord’s final words to His disciples. They certainly did not apply to Judas. He does not even seem to be alive by the time our Lord is crucified (see Matthew 27:3-10). The truths Jesus is about to share with His disciples pertain to things in which Judas will not, and cannot, have any part. These are the very things on which Judas has turned his back.

Joh 17:12 "While I was with them in the world, I kept them in Your name. Those whom You gave Me I have kept; and none of them is lost except the son of perdition, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

 Php 1:28 and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that from God.

 2Th 2:3 ¶ Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,

 1Ti 6:9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.

 Heb 10:39 But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.

 2Pe 3:7 But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.

 Re 17:8 "The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

 Re 17:11 "And the beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition.

2Co 7:10 For godly sorrow produces repentance leading to salvation, not to be regretted; but the sorrow of the world produces death.

 28 But no one at the table knew for what reason He said this to him.

 29 For some thought, because Judas had the money box, that Jesus had said to him, "Buy those things we need for the feast," or that he should give something to the poor.

The fact that Judas was the treasurer of the Twelve shows that the other disciples trusted him implicitly. He was a perfect hypocrite. Jesus' trust of him shows the Savior's grace.

 30 Having received the piece of bread, he then went out immediately. And it was night.

Lu 22:53 "When I was with you daily in the temple, you did not try to seize Me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness."

The feast in view (v. 29) must have been the feast of Unleavened Bread that followed Passover immediately since Jesus and the Twelve were then celebrating the Passover. Giving alms to the poor was a common practice in Jerusalem on Passover evening.

13:30   Judas   obeyed   Jesus'   command   (v.   27)   and   left   the   upper   room immediately. He missed most of the meal including the institution of the Lord's Supper. John's reference to it being night would be redundant if all he wanted to do was give a time reference. In view of his light and darkness theme, it seems that he wanted to point out the spiritual significance of Judas' departure both for Judas and for Jesus (cf. Luke

Luke 22:53; John 1:4-5; et al.).

He then, having received the sop, went immediately out and it was night." A solitary figure, leaving the room, to enter into the eternity of hell. 'The Bible doesn't say where he went, but evidently he went to finalize his deal with the Sanhedrin. And when he went out, it was night. And friends, it was more than physical night, it was eternal night, it was night in the soul of Judas. And I'll tell you something else. It is always night when a man goes out of the presence of Jesus Christ.

You say, "What does this say to me, all this?" It says, be sure that you make the most of your opportunities. Be sure you're not a hypocrite. Be sure than you're warned, my friend, that the greatest spiritual privileges might be neutralized by illicit passion. And a life which is lived in the face of the unclouded sun may set in a night of despair. There are Judases in every age, and there are Judases today. There are people who are selling out Jesus Christ, did you know that? There are men who have eaten at His table, and lifted their heel against Him. But the tragedy of it is, their end is death and disaster. And these words are still true, and true of more than one Judas: "Still as of old, by himself is priced, for thirty pieces Judas sold himself, not Christ."

First, Jesus is in complete control, including the one who will betray Him. In making arrangements for this meal, Jesus makes sure that He will not be interrupted or arrested—not until it is “His time.” Jesus knows that Judas will betray Him, and our Lord orchestrates every event in these last hours so that He can fully accomplish all that He has set out to do. This includes the time, manner, and instruments of His arrest, trial, and death. It includes a private time with His disciples, when He can prepare them for what lies ahead. Though it is but a few hours until His death, everything is under control—His control.

Having emphasized that our Lord is in complete control at this meal (as at all times), let it be noted that Judas is represented as a man who is responsible for his actions. Jesus did not choose Judas for salvation, but neither did Judas choose our Lord. Divine sovereignty and human responsibility are both evident in our text.

Second, this text instructs us regarding the purpose of prophecy. Many Christians look at Bible prophecy as a kind of puzzle—something that we can figure out if we’re smart enough or persistent enough. Jesus’ words in our text inform us that there are many prophecies that we do not even recognize as such until after they have been fulfilled (such as the prophecy concerning Judas in Psalm 41:9). Prophecy is not given to us so that we can know exactly what will happen in the future. Much prophecy is written so that when God brings about His plans and purposes, we will realize that He has already told us this would happen, and that it has happened just as He said it would. Prophecy is one way that God promotes and protects His glory. He tells us what He is going to do ahead of time so that when He does it, it is all His doing.

Third, at a time when our Lord could have been obsessed with His own imminent suffering and death, He devoted Himself to serving His disciples by preparing them for the things which were to come. I think of Paul and Peter, as they wrote their last Epistles, knowing that the time of their departure was at hand. They did not focus attention on themselves, but upon others. They sought to prepare the saints for the time when they would be gone. That is what I see in our text. Our Lord is here preparing His disciples for what lies ahead. When one sees suffering (for God’s sake) as glory, then one need not dwell on his pain or sorrow. He or she is freed to focus on others, even in the last hours of our own life.

Fourth, our text suggests to us that there is a time when it is better for the scoffer to be removed. The Bible talks about times when someone needs to be removed from the assembly of the righteous (Proverbs 22:10; Matthew 18:15-20; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15; Titus 3:10-11). Some folks call this “back door evangelism.” In a day when the church seems to be seeking to increase its numbers, let us not forget that there are some folks whose presence contaminates the saints, and impedes the work of God. It is time for Judas to go, and Jesus dismisses him. It was night, but only for those who rejected Him who is the source of light and life. Jesus dismissed Judas to go where he had already chosen.

Fifth, we should not think only of Judas as we read our text—Judas is but one example of many who, like him, choose to reject the light and to dwell in darkness. Specifically, Judas is a dramatic picture of the rejection of Jesus by the nation Israel. Over and over again, God had spoken to this people. Finally, God spoke to Israel through “the Word,” the sinless Son of God, Jesus Christ (see Hebrews 1:1-3). They did not believe His words, in spite of all the miraculous works He performed. They seized Him, accused Him of crimes He did not commit, and killed Him, all to further their own interests. Is this not what Judas did as well? What a tragic picture. What darkness the nation Israel is about to experience, after their rejection of Jesus as the Messiah.

It is no different today. Judas is also a picture of all who hear the gospel and cast it aside, by rejecting Jesus as the sinless Son of God, who “takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). It is possible that you may not have believed in Jesus as the “way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). You may be consoling yourself that you did not betray Jesus, as Judas did. If you have not received Him as God’s only cure for your sins, then you have rejected Him. According to the Bible, you are lost and living in darkness. As our Lord urged Judas to repent and believe, He is urging you to do the same.

Sixth, for every man and woman who hears the gospel, there is a point of no return. There is a point of no return, a point in time after which it is forever too late to repent and be saved. In the New Testament, it will soon be that point in time for Israel, as the apostles indicate by the urgency of their preaching. There is a time when you will turn away from Christ for the last time. No man knows that time, but it is a deadline you do not want to ignore. As the Scriptures say,

1 Now because we are fellow-workers, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 For he says, “I heard you at the acceptable time, and in the day of salvation I helped you.” See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation! (2 Corinthians 6:1-2).

I cannot miss the fact that John has placed two men in close proximity to each other in John chapter 13: Judas and Peter. Judas was an unbeliever, who betrayed the Lord of Glory. Peter was a believer, who denied His Lord. What is the difference between the two? All the difference in the world. In some ways, Judas looks like “Mr. Perfect” in the New Testament—up till the time that he betrays our Lord. But over and over again in the Gospels, Peter seems to be messing up, doing or saying the wrong thing (even as he initially refuses to let Jesus wash his feet in our text). But while Peter often sinned, each occasion of sin was for him a point of repentance and return. How quickly Peter repents of his foolishness in chapter 13. It is true that Peter failed many times, just as we do, but each failure was a point of return. For Judas, his apparent failures seem to be few, but in spite of all the opportunities he was given to repent and turn to the Lord, he never did. Far better to fail often and return to the Lord, than to appear to do well, and never turn to Him at all. What a difference there is between Peter, whose sins were a “point of return,” and this final sin of Judas, which was his “point of no return.”

John introduces this new paragraph with the notation that what Jesus says here is spoken after the departure of Judas. Jesus had to guard and to qualify His words when Judas was present. He had to guard His words so that He would not give away any information that would facilitate Judas’ betrayal in a way that would produce His death at a time or in a manner different than what the prophetic Scriptures required. Jesus had to qualify His words to show (later on) that the comfort and assurances He gave to His true disciples were not meant to apply to Judas (e.g., 13:18-20). The departure of Judas sets in motion the events which assure our Lord’s death at the appointed time. Now, alone at last with His true disciples, Jesus speaks more candidly with them than ever before.

First, since the glorification of the Son of Man is the ultimate goal of history, Jesus welcomes it willingly, joyfully, triumphantly. Some people live under the false impression that God’s ultimate purpose in history is to make them happy and to make their lives free from pain and trouble. So the disciples seemed to think as well, until after the cross.

Second, the glorification of our Lord is realized both in His suffering and in His resulting exaltation. The glory of God is achieved at a very high price. The Father will sacrifice His own Son. Who can imagine the agony in that? The Son will lay down His life, dying on a Roman cross, and suffering separation from His Father—as the payment for our sins. And afterward the disciples will undergo their own suffering, which we see throughout the Book of Acts.

It would be wrong to speak of our Lord’s glory, apart from His suffering. It would likewise be incorrect to speak of His suffering apart from His glorification. Jesus here informs His disciples that His glorification is imminent—“right away” (verse 32). His glory begins at the cross, but it does not end there. He is glorified by His death, burial, resurrection, and ascension to the right hand of the Father. Our Lord’s suffering and His glorification cannot be separated. This is what the prophets of old struggled with: How can Messiah be both a suffering Servant and a triumphant King? The answer is found in the person and work of our Lord. Paul speaks of it this way:

Philippians 2:5-11 5 You should have the same attitude toward one another that Christ Jesus had, 6 who though he existed in the form of God did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself by taking on the form of a slave, by looking like other men, and by sharing in human nature. 8 He humbled himself, by becoming obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross. 9 As a result God exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow—in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue should confess to the glory of God the Father that Jesus Christ is Lord.

5 times Jesus uses the word glory or some form of it in two verses of 38 words total

 31 So, when he had gone out, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man is glorified, and God is glorified in Him.

Son of Man - This term is connected to His suffering on the cross

 The title "Son of Man" unites the ideas of suffering and glory, as mentioned previously. This is the last of 12 occurrences of this title in John's Gospel.

"In its general usage it is the title of the incarnate Christ who is the representative of humanity before God and the representative of deity in human life.

How did Jesus glorify the Father? He explained how later: by finishing the work the Father gave Him to do (17:4). That is also how we glorify the Father.

"Little children" (Gr. teknia,dear children – Christian converts)

At the Passover Feast the Father would invite the children to ask questions and answer them for them.  Here at this supper Jesus sees Himself as the father and the disciples as His little children who need to be taught and cared for.

 32 "If God is glorified in Him, God will also glorify Him in Himself, and glorify Him immediately.

Third, the glorification of the Son is synonymous with the glorification of the Father. Notice the manner in which our Lord intertwines His glorification with that of the Father. Jesus does not seek to be glorified apart from the Father,[1] but with the Father. Both Father and Son are glorified by what takes place shortly. This is consistent with the message of John’s Gospel. Throughout the Gospel, our Lord has emphasized not only His unity with the Father, but also His subordination to the Father. In chapter 1, Jesus was intimately involved (as was the Father) in the creation of the world.

In chapter 2, at the cleansing of the temple, Jesus is looking after His Father’s house. In chapter 5, Jesus claims to be working on the Sabbath (by healing the paralytic by the pool of Bethesda) because His Father is also at work. Over and over again, our Lord stresses His union with the Father. It should therefore come as no surprise when we read that the time has come for Father and Son alike to be glorified, through the death and resurrection of the Son.

 33 "Little children, I shall be with you a little while longer. You will seek Me; and as I said to the Jews, 'Where I am going, you cannot come,' so now I say to you.

Does not say you will not find Me though as He did to the Jews

John 7:33-34 33 Then Jesus said, ‘I will be with you for only a little while longer, and then I am going to the one who sent me. 34 You will look for me but will not find me, and where I am you cannot come’”.

John 8:21-22 21 Then Jesus said to them again, “I am going away, and you will look for me but will die in your sin. Where I am going you cannot come.” 22 So the Jewish leaders began to say, “Perhaps he is going to kill himself, because he says, ‘Where I am going you cannot come’”.

Fourth, the glorification of the Son necessitates a separation from His disciples. Jesus has a way of introducing future events gradually, especially those to which the disciples are resistant. So it was with His going to Jerusalem, His rejection, crucifixion, and death. So now it is also with His “departure.” Earlier, Jesus had spoken to the Jews about His physical absence from this world:

Now He says nearly the same thing to His disciples. He is going away, and His absence from them is the backdrop for all that our Lord is about to say to His disciples in the Upper Room Discourse.

Any such misunderstanding was now corrected. When Jesus told the Jews that He was going away, He meant that He was returning to heaven, to be with His Father. There, they certainly would not find Him, because they would not be there. Heaven is a place for those who believe in Jesus; hell is the place for those who reject Him (see John 3:16-18; 10:25-29; 1 John 5:10-12). The shock was that Jesus was going away, and yet not taking His disciples with Him.

 34 "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

Jesus is saying, "Look, no matter what happens over the next 24 hours, love one another

And it begins the "One Another" expressions that, of course Paul will pick up. We'll have many in the New Testament: love one another, encourage one another, be patient, admonish, rebuke, teach, on and on "One Another" phrases go.  And this new commandment coming, of course, on the heels of the new covenant that this is the way you're going to relate to each other after I have been resurrected.

Yeah, and this is very timely for us within the so-called evangelical Bible believing church even in our own country. I am all about doctrinal purity and fighting for the truth of Scripture. What’s the famous reformers axiom about in all things…

 In essentials, unity; in non-essentials, diversity, and in all things, charity.

 So we can fold that out of here. The new commandment, that you love each other, so that the world's going to see this. So think of world religions. Think of the way some “isms” and “ologies” fight and hate and even kill one another.

 Evangelical, Bible believing, Christ following Christians should be known for their acceptance, their mercy, their love. Yes, we deal with sin. Yes, we must confront and help those who get in trouble; but in the main, do they look at your church and my church and the place we fellowship and say, "Wow! Those people really love each other, and love me."

And when we look at our own unkindness or lack of compassion or lack of forgiveness for others, it's not just about relationships. It's about what we are saying who our Savior is, isn't it?

but in the Mosaic Law the standard was "as you love yourself" (Lev.19:18). Now there was a new and higher standard, namely, "as I have loved you." It was also a new (Gr. kainen, fresh rather than different) commandment in that it was part of a new covenant that Jesus would ratify with His blood (Luke 22:20; 1 Cor. 11:25). In that covenant God promised to enable His people to love by transforming their hearts and minds (Jer.31:29-34; Ezek. 36:24-26). It is only by God's transforming grace that believers can love one another as Jesus has loved us.470

We all know that there is a sense in which this “new” commandment of our Lord is not entirely new. The Old Testament law could be summed up in two commands: (1) Love God; and (2) Love your neighbor as yourself (see Matthew 22:34-40; Romans 13:8-10). What, then, is so different about our Lord’s command here that He can call it “new”? First, we should note that it is a command given by our Lord to the church, and not a command given to Israel. In this sense, it is the first of the “new commandments” that our Lord will give to the church through His apostles.[2]

Second, it should be noted that this command is specifically directed toward the disciples and their relationship with one another (surely this takes us back to the lesson of foot washing). It is therefore the first of the “one another” commands of the New Testament (see, for example, Romans 12:10, 16; 13:8; 14:13, 19; 15:5, 7, 14; 16:16). This command does not address the love that we have for unbelievers, though others do (see Matthew 5:43-48; Romans 12:17-21).

The most important “new” dimension to our Lord’s command here is the standard which He sets for the love He requires:Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.” It is one thing to love one another as we love and care for ourselves. It is a vastly greater love that gives up one’s own life for another, that sacrifices self-interest to promote the interests of another (John 15:13; Philippians 2:1ff.).

The sacrificial work of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary is the “new” standard for the Christian’s love for fellow-believers.

[1] “This is the one place in this Gospel where Jesus uses this word for ‘new’ (it is used also in 19:41 of the ‘new’ tomb in which he was laid). There is another Greek word for ‘new’ that means ‘recent,’ whereas this word has about it the notion of ‘fresh.’ It is not so much that the commandment has not been given before as that it has a different quality about it, a quality of freshness that differentiates it from any other. The commandment to love was not, of course, in itself a novelty. There was a very old commandment that we should love our neighbor as ourselves (Lev. 19:18). But this commandment is that we should love each other as Jesus loved us.” Morris, Reflections on the Gospel of John, vol. 3, p. 484.

 35 "By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another."

The Greek words for "love" appear only 12 times in John 1—12, but in chapters 13—21 we find them 44 times.

The “newness” our Lord’s “new commandment,” then, was not in its originality or novelty, but in its extent. It was the practice of this kind of love that would cause the world to recognize these men (and us) as the disciples of Jesus (verse 35):

That supernatural love would distinguish disciples of Jesus. Love for one another  would  mark  them  off  as  His  disciples.  It  is  possible  to  be  a disciple of Jesus without demonstrating much supernatural love. However that kind of love is what bears witness to a disciple's connection with Jesus and thereby honors Him (cf. 1 John 3:10b-23; 4:7-16).471  Every believer manifests some supernatural love since the loving God indwells him or her (1 John 3:14). However, it is possible to quench and to grieve the indwelling Spirit so that we do not manifest much love.

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.

[1] Is this not what the temptation of our Lord was all about—Satan seeking to tempt our Lord to gain His messianic glory independently of the Father?

[2] It is my understanding that many—perhaps most—of the Old Testament commands are renewed in the New Testament. As Dr. Bruce Waltke used to put it, “When we look at the Old Testament commandments, we must ask whether the New Testament ratifies, modifies, or abrogates (negates) them.” The command to “love” is “ratified” or “renewed” by our Lord here, and upgraded.

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL IS YOUR LIFE A WRECK

28Aug

Has your life become a wreck and is total chaos? Every unsaved person is locked up in some way, shape, or form.  Some are locked up in bodies that don't work or in the Nursing Home facility or have a disease or situation they cannot handle. Children and youth are locked up because of behavioral problems or their parents aren't doing right and their cry is we want to have a “REAL FAMILY”. Others are locked up because of crimes, drugs, alcohol, or relationship problems.  If so, you need to ask Jesus Christ to forgive you and save you right now?  Will you do that 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.

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

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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“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 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

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

 

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

[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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