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

16Jun

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Ephesians 2:1-10).

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Isaiah 53:1-12

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL ARE WE TRULY TRUSTING IN GOD

12Jun

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

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

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

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

9Jun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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WARDEN BURL CAIN SHORT TESTIMONY FOR HIS LOVE MINISTRIES

5Jun

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

 

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

 

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

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

 

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

2Jun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Died the day the messenger came to see Jesus

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL GOD’S TRUE JUSTICE

29May

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

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

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

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

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

26May

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wants them to have more faith

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL WHAT DO YOU PUT IN YOUR MIND

22May

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

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

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

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

19May

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL PHILIPPIANS 4.1 YOU WILL KNOW THE TRUTH

15May

In Philippians 4:1 Paul tells us to stand firm in the Lord. Are you spiritually stable?  Or are you like the double minded man in James 1 and Eph 4:14 who doesn’t know what he believes and is tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine? The Bible tells us in 2Pe 3:18 to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. So how can you stand firm in shaky times.  You need to get your Bible out, read it, study it, memorize it, then you won’t fall prey to Satan’s lies and traps because as John 8:32 says you will Know the truth and the truth will set you free.

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

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

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

JOHN 10:29-42 JESUS SAID “I AND MY FATHER ARE ONE”

12May

John 10:29 "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. 30 "I and My Father are one." 31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, "Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?" 33 The Jews answered Him, saying, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God." 34 Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your law, 'I said, "You are gods"'? 35 "If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36 "do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'? 37 "If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 38 "but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him." 39 Therefore they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand. 40 And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was baptizing at first, and there He stayed. 41 Then many came to Him and said, "John performed no sign, but all the things that John spoke about this Man were true." 42 And many believed in Him there.

     In this great section of Scripture we see the eternal security of the believer expressed again as Jesus says, No one is greater than God, so they cannot take anything away from God that belongs to Him.  Then Jesus tells them again that He is one with the Father.  In every way possible Jesus is like God the Father because He is God in human flesh. Col 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. 16 For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. These verses tell us that Jesus is God, He created everything, He holds it all together, and He is the preeminent one (the one who has first place in everything).  Then the Pharisees want to stone Jesus and He asks them why, for what good work do you stone Me.  They understood He was saying He was God, so they say it is not for a good work, but because you claim to be God.  Jesus tries to tell them again He is God and came from the Father, but they still won’t believe and so they try to seize Him and He escapes from them because it is not time for Him to die yet.  He then goes to where John had baptized and many believe He is the Christ and are saved at that location.

“Snatch” (“ravenous wolves, robbers”). This is a fitting word here for the same verb is used in 10:12, “the wolf attacks” (lit., “snatches away”).

The sheep feel secure (3:16; 6:39; 17:12; 18:9).

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.

The greatness of the Father, not of the flock, is the ground of the safety of the flock.

He makes it very clear that the salvation and (eternal) security of the sheep are not the result of our sheepish efforts, but rather the sovereign will and working of God.[1] The Father chose us for salvation and gave us to the Son. It is the

No one overrules His will. No one overpowers Him. No one nullifies what He has achieved. No one takes away those He has purchased.

Jesus had promised this security in Galilee (6:37, 39). No wolf, no thief, no bandit, no hireling, no demon, not even the devil can pluck the sheep out of my hand. Colossians 3:3–4 (ESV) For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

It is obvious that the only one who can separate us from God’s love is ourselves (cf. Rom. 8:38–39; Gal. 5:2–4).

 30 "I and My Father are one."

Not one person but one essence or nature. Colossians 2:9 (ESV) For in him the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily,

They have the closest possible unity of purpose. Jesus’ will is identical to the Father’s regarding the salvation of His sheep. And yet absolute identity of wills involves identity of nature. Jesus and the Father are One in will (and also in nature for both are God; John 1:1, John 5:18, John 8:58, 10:18

He meant that He and the Father were one in their action. This explanation also harmonized with the context since Jesus had said that He would keep His sheep safe (v. 28) and His Father would keep them safe (v. 29).

The Jews had asked Jesus for a plain statement about His Messiah ship. Jesus gave them far more, a claim that He fully and completely carried out the Father's will that strongly hinted at Jesus' deity

This statement is the climax of Christ’s claims concerning the relation between the Father and himself (the Son). They stir the Pharisees to uncontrollable anger.

31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him.

It is not the word that is used before (ch.8:59), but great stones, stones that were a load, such as they used in stoning malefactors. They brought them from some place at a distance, as it were preparing things for his execution without any judicial process; as if he were convicted of blasphemy upon the notorious evidence of the fact, which needed no further trial.

 32 Jesus answered them, "Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?"

it was not for His works but for His words that they were going to kill Him. The reader should realize by now that Jesus was exactly who He claimed to be, one with the Father and more than a mere mortal. A man was not making Himself out to be God, but God had made Himself a man (1:1, 14, 18).

 33 The Jews answered Him, saying, "For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God."

The response of the Jews to our Lord’s challenge is amazing. In effect, they are saying, “Oh, we don’t look at your words in relation to your works; we view them separately.” Only those who are great hypocrites find this feat easy to accomplish. Their words and their works are not related (Matthew 23:1-3), and so they do not care that Jesus’ words and works are completely consistent. They are not about to be confused with the facts when their minds are already made up. They conclude (wrongly, of course) that Jesus is merely a man, and thus His claim to be God must be blasphemy. In their minds, He deserves to die.

If Jesus did not really claim to be God, He could easily have corrected the Jews' misunderstanding here. The fact that He did not is further proof that the Jews correctly understood that He was claiming to be God.

 34 Jesus answered them, "Is it not written in your law, 'I said, "You are gods"'?

 35 "If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken),

The psalm ends: “Arise, O God, judge the earth; For You shall inherit all nations.”

Can they not see what both our Lord and this psalm are saying? This psalm is not just a text Jesus has chosen to stump His adversaries. It is not a cute trick, which shames those who would pose trick questions to Messiah. He is the fulfillment of this psalm, as they are. They are the “gods” whom God is coming to judge. They are the “gods” who will die like men; He is the God who will die to save His sheep, only to rise again from the dead. This text says it all, but they cannot see it, for they are blind, while He is the light of the world. They cannot hear, for He is not their shepherd.

His critics. He wanted them to see that the divine terms that He was using to describe Himself were terms that the Old Testament itself also used of human beings. They could not logically accuse Him of blasphemy because the Father had set Him aside and sent Him into the world with a special mission. He was a legitimate Son of God for this reason.

If your judges could be called gods, are you going to call Me a blasphemer because I say I'm the Son of God when your judges were here on earth and the word came to them, and I came from there with the Word?  Don't I deserve even a greater title?" 

As the Jews had sanctified their temple after its desecration by Antiochus Epiphanies, so God had sanctified His Son. The Jews celebrated the sanctification of their physical temple with the Feast of Dedication, but they were unwilling to accept the spiritual temple that replaced it, namely, Jesus.

 36 "do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, 'You are blaspheming,' because I said, 'I am the Son of God'?

 37 "If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me;

 38 "but if I do, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in Him."

 39 Therefore they sought again to seize Him, but He escaped out of their hand.

The response of the Jews to our Lord’s challenge is amazing. In effect, they are saying, “Oh, we don’t look at your words in relation to your works; we view them separately.” Only those who are great hypocrites find this feat easy to accomplish. Their words and their works are not related (Matthew 23:1-3), and so they do not care that Jesus’ words and works are completely consistent. They are not about to be confused with the facts when their minds are already made up. They conclude (wrongly, of course) that Jesus is merely a man, and thus His claim to be God must be blasphemy. In their minds, He deserves to die.

 40 And He went away again beyond the Jordan to the place where John was baptizing at first, and there He stayed.

John presented Jesus' departure from Jerusalem as the result of official rejection of Him. The event had symbolic significance that the evangelist probably intended. Jesus withdrew the opportunity for salvation from the people there because they refused to accept His gracious offer of salvation.  Evidently, Jesus went from Jerusalem back to Bethany in Perea on the east side of the Jordan River where the Jewish rulers had no authority to pursue Him (cf. 1:28).

 41 Then many came to Him and said, "John performed no sign, but all the things that John spoke about this Man were true."

 42 And many believed in Him there.

It is not yet His appointed time to die for His sheep, and so Jesus retreats to the more desolate and distant places along the Jordan river, which John the Baptist used to frequent in his ministry. We do not know exactly where this was, and likely, our Lord’s enemies do not know either. That is the point of His retreat. While our Lord’s enemies do not come to Him there, many others find Him in this place. It would seem that Jesus performed a number of miracles there from the words of those who compare His ministry with that of John: “John performed no miraculous sign, but everything John said about this man was true!

These words are recorded by John here for a reason that is very much related to the point of this passage. I have suggested that while the theme of shepherding is prominent, so is the relationship between our Lord’s words and His works.

My point is this: Many of the Jews believed that John the Baptist was a true prophet (see Matthew 21:26). They believed his words, even though he did not perform any miraculous works. And yet the Jews in Jerusalem (especially the religious leaders) will not believe Jesus’ words, even though He does many miraculous works. What a contrast John draws between these “Jordan River” Jews and the sophisticated Jews of Jerusalem. In contrast to our Lord’s rejection in Jerusalem, many are believing in Him who come to Him at the Jordan River.

And so we see that those who are His sheep have more than enough reason to believe, and that those who are not will never have enough evidence to believe.

First, this text strongly teaches the sovereignty of God, especially as it relates to the salvation and the security of His sheep. Those who resist such teaching should consider the fact that the doctrine of God’s sovereignty is not a flattering one. Is this not the principle reason we are inclined to reject it? The doctrine of God’s sovereignty glorifies God, and not men. It stresses His work, and not our works. It is this very teaching that the Jewish opponents of our Lord react to so strongly. Does this not serve to warn those who would seek to reject this teaching today, here in our text? This does not mean that the Bible ignores human responsibility, but it does mean that our salvation and our security are in His hands, and not ours. For that we should rejoice, not resist.

Second, this text reminds us of the necessary link between what we say and what we do, between our profession and our practice. Jesus constantly challenges His adversaries to consider the relationship between His words and His works. He also rebukes the Pharisees for their lack of consistency in these matters. Let us take heed. Let us be sure that what we say we believe is also what we behave.

Third, this text says much about leaders and leadership. It reminds us that leaders have been given their place of authority to carry out their roles as God’s agents. It certainly indicates to us that those of us under such divinely ordained authority should submit to it, as to the Lord. But in addition, the message is loud and clear that those leaders who fail to fulfill their mission as “good” shepherds will someday stand before the Great Shepherd and give account for their deeds. In this day when leaders seem to be getting away with murder, let us never forget this truth.

 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] Morris puts it this way: “It is one of the precious things about the Christian faith that our continuance in eternal life depends not on our feeble hold on Christ, but on His firm grip on us.” Leon Morris, The Gospel According to John (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1971) p. 521.

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL WE MEASURE THINGS, GOD MEASURES THE HEART

8May

In life it is not how much money we have, how big our house is, not how many friends we have, how great our kids are, the number of degrees we possess, and it’s not the job that we have that matters. Likewise, the measure of a man's ministry is not how many people he reaches, how many people attend his church, how big his budget is, oh, and it is not how many buildings he builds either, only the Christ likeness of his people show the effect of his ministry, that is the only measuring stick that matters We measure things, 1 Samuel 16:7 says For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

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

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

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JOHN 10:22-28 JESUS SAID MY SHEEP HEAR MY VOICE, AND I KNOW THEM, AND THEY FOLLOW ME

5May

In this famous section of Scripture Jesus, the Light of the World is walking around at the Feast of Lights (Hanukkah). The Pharisees confront him and ask Him again, who are You, tell us plainly?  They ask this as if they don’t know, like He hasn’t already told them time and time again.  They have seen the signs, they have heard His Words, and yet they WILL NOT believe.  Jesus says that all the signs that He has done for His Father in Heaven prove He is God (the Messiah)  and they will not believe because they aren’t His Sheep.  You see in this section Divine Sovereignty and Human Responsibility.  God calls people to be saved and they cannot be saved unless He draws them (Divine Sovereignty), yet God says we are all responsible because the Scriptures says whosoever will, let him come, whoever believes. (Human Responsibility).  He tells them that they cannot hear Him because they aren’t His Sheep because His Sheep hear His voice and follow Him.  Then He finally tells them that if we are saved we are eternally secure for all time. Romans 8:31-39 confirms this, as do many other places in the Bible.  It says whoever believes HAS eternal life.  John 17:3 says eternal life is KNOWING the true God and Jesus whom He sent.  Nobody is greater than Jesus and so no one can snatch them out of His Hand.

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

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30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL CAN YOU WALK THE WALK AS WELL AS YOU TALK THE TALK?

1May

2 Timothy 3:2-4 says 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, I think this fits many people today who call themselves Christians, as most of America claims to be, but our walk does not match our talk.  Jesus said if you love me, you will keep my commandments.  If we were really Christians we would live differently, how about you, how do you live?

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

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

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JOHN 10:17-21 THEREFORE MY FATHER LOVES ME, BECAUSE I LAY DOWN MY LIFE THAT I MAY TAKE IT AGAIN

28Apr

John 10:17 "Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 "No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father." 19 Therefore there was a division again among the Jews because of these sayings. 20 And many of them said, "He has a demon and is mad. Why do you listen to Him?" 21 Others said, "These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?"

 In this section of Scripture, we see the Father’s special love for Jesus and all who obey His commandments.  We don’t work to be saved; rather we work because we are saved. Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.  Jesus came with a purpose to lay down His life that we may take up the new life that He gives us.  Jesus tells them that He has the power over His life and His death; no one will do anything that He doesn’t want them to do to Him. He also says He will live again and all the things He said caused division among the Jews as usual.  Jesus always creates division, not because He is mean and nasty, but because some people want to know the truth and others don’t. Those that don’t want to know the truth are the mean and nasty ones who cause the problems. Finally, they cannot speak to what He says intelligently, so they attack Him verbally as they have many times in the past.  Isn’t that what we all do when we can’t win the discussion, we begin to attack the others and so it always ends?

 Romans 3:17 But if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast of your relationship to God 18 and know his will and approve the superior things because you receive instruction from the law, 19 and if you are convinced that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an educator of the senseless, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the essential features of knowledge and of the truth— 21 therefore you who teach someone else, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say not to commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law dishonor God by transgressing the law. 24 For just as it is written, “the name of God is being blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you” (Romans 2:17-24).

The Gospel of John is written in a way that links the declarations of Jesus to His deeds. John does this to show that Jesus’ words must be taken seriously, because of the works that accompany them.

30 Now Jesus performed many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples that are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are recorded so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name (John 20:30-31).

So it is in John’s Gospel that Jesus is continually performing some miraculous deed, which validates a declaration He has made, or will make shortly. These “signs” that our Lord performs demonstrate that He is who He claims to be. The One who claims to be the “Bread of Life” (6:35) is the same One who feeds the 5,000 (John 6:1-14). The last words Jesus speaks before giving the man born blind his sight are: “While I am in the world, I am the light of the world” (John 9:5). While many of the Jews object to the teaching of our Lord, accusing Him of being demon possessed, many others protest, “These are not the words of someone possessed by a demon. A demon cannot cause the blind to see, can it?” (John 10:21). They take Jesus’ words seriously because of His works. In our text, Jesus claims to be “the resurrection and the life,” assuring His listeners that anyone who believes in Him will live, even though he dies (11:25). This is just shortly before He calls Lazarus out of the tomb, where he has been for four days!

After Jesus feeds the crowd of 5,000 men, the people respond: “This is certainly the Prophet who is to come into the world” (John 6:14).

When Nicodemus came to Jesus by night, he acknowledged that Jesus had “come from God,” based upon the deeds He had done: “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the miraculous signs that you do unless God is with him” (John 3:2).

In our text, the Apostle John continues to employ the imagery of sheep and shepherding, but he does so with an emphasis on the relationship between words and deeds. Hypocrisy is not just the sin of the Pharisees. If you and I were honest, we would admit that we are all hypocrites, and in a big way! This text has a great deal to say to us about Jesus, about words and deeds, and about hypocrisy. Let us listen and learn what the Spirit of God has to say to us through His inspired Word. Let us resolve ahead of time, that by God’s grace, we will do what this text teaches us we should do, and that our deeds will conform to His words, as well as our own.

20 And many of them said, "He has a demon and is mad. Why do you listen to Him?"

Jewish religious leaders are more determined than ever to put Him to death. It is now only a matter of the right opportunity.

 21 Others said, "These are not the words of one who has a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?"

The Gospel of John is written in a way that links the declarations of Jesus to His deeds. John does this to show that Jesus’ words must be taken seriously, because of the works that accompany them.  John 20:30-31.

So it is in John’s Gospel that Jesus is continually performing some miraculous deed, which validates a declaration He has made, or will make shortly.

This is not an entirely new thing. Throughout the Gospel of John, men strongly differ as to who Jesus is (see John 6:52; 7:43; 9:16). Those opposed to Jesus are becoming more and more intense in their opposition. They have already purposed to put Him to death (see 5:18; 7:1, 19-20, 25; 8:37, 40).

 In this section of Scripture we see the Father’s special love for Jesus and all who obey His commandments.  We don’t work to be saved; rather we work because we are saved. Ephesians 2:10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.  Jesus came with a purpose to lay down His life that we may take up the new life that He gives us.  Jesus tells them that He has the power over His life and His death; no one will do anything that He doesn’t want them to do to Him. He also says He will live again and all the things He said caused division among the Jews as usual.  Jesus always creates division, not because He is mean and nasty, but because some people want to know the truth and others don’t. Those that don’t want to know the truth are the mean and nasty ones who cause the problems. Finally they cannot speak to what He says intelligently, so they attack Him verbally as they have many times in the past.  Isn’t that what we all do when we can’t win the discussion, we begin to attack the others and so it always ends?

 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. https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-z897g-aad45f

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

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL GOD’S MONEY OR OURS? WHOSE MONEY IS IT?

24Apr

In 1Tim. 5:18, it says 'The laborer is worthy of his wages'".  During economic downturns I believe that God is testing His people to see what they are going to do with His Money.  I know many churches and ministries have suffered a lack of funding and had to cut staff and mission opportunities.  In the U. S. our poorest have more than 90% of the world, so why are we holding on so hard to what God has given us.  I believe our blessing of financial prosperity has become a curse because we care more about what we have than about the people around us. What have you sacrificed lately to help someone else? Has God saved your wallet as well as 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.

 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 10:10-16 JESUS SAID I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD. THE GOOD SHEPHERD GIVES HIS LIFE FOR THE SHEEP

21Apr

John 10:10 "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. 11 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 "But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 "The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. 14 "I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 "As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 "And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

 In this section of Scripture Jesus is contrasting Himself as the Good Shepherd with the Pharisees, the ones He calls thieves and hirelings.  He tells us that He came to give us life and life more abundantly.  That He will give His life for the sheep, but the hireling (Pharisees and other false teachers) will run when the sheep are in danger.  Jesus says three times in this passage He is the Good Shepherd.  This is one of the seven great I AM statements in this Gospel which shows that Jesus is Yahweh, the Self-Existent One, the One who was In The Beginning with God, the One who IS the WORD OF GOD, the one WHO IS GOD that came in human flesh.  Jesus tells them that He will give his life for the sheep, in other words He will die on the cross for our sins.  He also tells us that He will bring all the people together that believe in Him into one flock.  Just as the tower of Babel separated man from man, Jesus will make us one in Christ. Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

 10 "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Stealing is the purpose of the thief, but he will kill and destroy if necessary

  “This is a proverbial or well-known way of insisting that there is only one means of receiving eternal life (the Synoptics might have preferred to speak of entering the kingdom, although entering into life is also attested there), only one source of knowledge of God, only one fount of spiritual nourishment, only one basis for spiritual security—Jesus alone.” Carson, p. 385

That they (people) may keep on having life (eternal, he means)” as he shows in 10:28. He is “the life” (14:6). And may have it abundantly (Repetition of (may keep on having) abundance. “To have a surplus,” true to the meaning of overflow

Romans 5:20 20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more,

Jesus: The Good Shepherd (10:11-18)

 11 "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.

Note repetition of the article, “the shepherd the good one.

“Jesus continues I am the good shepherd, really: the shepherd, the good one. The adjective is stressed! This adjective, however, is not agaqo" but kalo". The basic meaning of this word is beautiful. Here it indicates excellent. This shepherd answers to the ideal both in his character and in his work. And he is the only one in his class.”

Mr 10:17 Now as He was going out on the road, one came running, knelt before Him, and asked Him, "Good Teacher, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?" 18 So Jesus said to him, "Why do you call Me good? No one is good but One, that is, God.

To say he is good based on this passage, Jesus says you have to be God to be good and He is in effect saying I AM GOD

Ps 23 says the Lord is my Shepherd

For illustration see I Sam. 17:35 (David’s experience) and Isa. 31:4.

In Judges 12:3, it means, “I risked my life.” The true physician does this for his patient as the shepherd for his sheep. The use of ὑπερ [huper] here (over, in behalf of, instead of), but in the papyri [huper] is the usual preposition for substitution rather than [anti]. This shepherd gives his life for the sin of the world (1:29; I John 2:2).

The words ‘for (hyper) the sheep’ suggest sacrifice. The preposition, in John always occurs in a sacrificial context, whether referring to the death of Jesus (6:51; 10:11, 15; 11:50ff.; 17:19; 18:14), of Peter (13:37-38), or of a man prepared to die for his friend (15:13). In no case does this suggest a death with merely exemplary significance; in each case the death envisaged is on behalf of someone else. The shepherd does not die for his sheep to serve as an example, throwing himself off a cliff in a grotesque and futile display while bellowing, ‘See how much I love you!’ No, the assumption is that the sheep are in mortal danger; that in their defense the shepherd loses his life; that by his death they are saved. That, and that alone, is what makes him the good shepherd.” Carson, p. 386. The good shepherd lays down his life for the benefit of the sheep, but the only way in which he can benefit the sheep, saving them from everlasting destruction and imparting everlasting life to them, is by dying instead of them, as we learn from Matt. 20:28; Mark 10:45, where the preposition anti (instead of, in exchange for) is used.

Five ministries of the Good Shepherd

  1. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep.

Gives up His life (soul) not just his breath and the things of life. Gave His entire being, felt the pain of hell, the curse of sin, the hate of men.

In the OT the sheep died for the shepherd (their sins), in Jesus the Shepherd dies for the sheep.

 12 "But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them.

 13 "The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep.

These are the religious Pharisees; they are in it for the money and things this position brings to them.

Tit 1:10 For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, 11 whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain.

1Pe 5:2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;

2Pe 2:3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.

  1. The Good Shepherd Loves the Sheep
  2. Knows His sheep, and am known by My own –

Know implies love. Adam knew his wife

 14 “I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.

  1. Lays down His life for the sheep

 15 "As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.

   5.  He unites the Sheep John 17

 16 "And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.

 

The_Good_Shepherd.png

 

By : Emil G. Hirsch   Immanuel Benzinger  

Herodotus (i. 195) and Strabo (xvi. 746) assert that among the Babylonians every man carried a ring and a staff, which latter was decorated at the upper end with a carved representation of a flower or something similar. It seems to have been the universal custom among the ancient Hebrews also to carry a staff (comp. Gen. xxxviii. 18)—a custom which perhaps dates from the time when they lived the nomadic life of herdsmen. The staff was indispensable to the herdsman, for by means of it he kept his flock together (Ex. iv. 2; Lev. xxvii. 32; Ps. xxiii. 4; Micah vii. 14; Zech. ii. 7); the upper end of the long staff was bent, as Egyptian illustrations indicate. Nor was the staff to be despised as a weapon (Ps. xxiii. 4). Similarly, a long, perhaps straight, stick, with a goad at the end, was used by the peasants for driving and guiding the oxen before the plow, and also for breaking the clods behind it, as the peasants still use the stick to-day; this also was an effective weapon (Judges iii. 31; I Sam. xiii. 21, xvii. 43). Finally, the staff was indispensable to the wanderer, and a support to the weak and sick (Gen. xxxii. 10; Ex. xxi. 19; Zech. viii. 4). In the hands of the overseers it became an instrument of punishment, and therefore a badge of office (Isa. ix. 4, xxx. 31, et al.).E. G. H.

 

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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. https://www.podbean.com/media/share/pb-z897g-aad45f

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30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL ARE WE HEARING GOD’S WORD

17Apr

Mark 12:35-37 says Then Jesus answered and said, "How is it that the scribes say that the Christ is the Son of David? 36 "For David himself said by the Holy Spirit: 'The LORD said to my Lord, "Sit at My right hand, Till I make Your enemies Your footstool."'"Therefore David himself calls Him 'Lord'; how is He then his Son?" & the common people heard Him gladly. The Pharisees were asking Jesus questions & now He asks them one. Amazing how He gets to the heart of the matter of their unbelief.  It shows the fact that the COMMON people were willing to hear, but not those in power. Are you one of those who think they don’t need to hear it either?

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

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

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JOHN 10:7-10 JESUS SAID TO THEM AGAIN, “MOST ASSUREDLY, I SAY TO YOU, I AM THE DOOR OF THE SHEEP

14Apr

John 10:7 Then Jesus said to them again, "Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 "All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 "I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. 10 "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

 In the passage of Scripture we are studying today, we will see that Jesus is not only the door leading us out of our false ways, but also the only door leading to eternal life.  I know many think that most people are going to heaven and that there are many ways to get there, but Jesus states with no stutter or stammer there is but one way and HE is it.  Somehow He protects those who will trust Him from becoming totally swayed by false teachers so that one day we will trust Him and Him only to save us.  He tells the people standing around that the Pharisees and all others who said you could get to heaven some other way than Him are thieves and robbers.  He also tells us as we go about everyday life He is with us and takes care of us just as the Shepherds did with their sheep.  He also says the thief will do anything to get the sheep and only cares that he gets what he wants.  Jesus also says that if we want joy, peace, and a life that is wonderful in spite of our problems we need to trust Him as Savior.

 Jesus: The Door Of The Sheep. He Says HE is the Door Twice

 7 Then Jesus said to them again, "Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.

First, He shifts from the more general third person (“the one who,” “he,” “him,” “his”) to the very specific first person singular (“I,” “me”). He makes it very clear from here on that He is speaking of Himself as “the True Shepherd” and “the Good Shepherd.”

He is the door who makes it possible for them to leave the fold of Judaism and come into salvation through Him

The door of the sheep. Meaning the door for the sheep; not the door of the fold. “The thought is connected with the life, and not simply with the organization.” 

The door to the truth. 1Thessalonians 1:9 For they themselves declare concerning us what manner of entry we had to you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God,

Jesus brings us out of the mixed sheepfold

Eze 20:37 "I will make you pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the covenant; 38 "I will purge the rebels from among you, and those who transgress against Me; I will bring them out of the country where they dwell, but they shall not enter the land of Israel. Then you will know that I am the LORD.

 8 "All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.

All who preceded him accordingly must be thieves and the like working in the darkness. All the more is this likely to be the case in that Jesus does not say that they ‘were’ but that they ‘are’ thieves and robbers. The emphasis is on His own day.

Lu 16:14 Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him. 15 And He said to them, "You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.

Mr 12:38 Then He said to them in His teaching, "Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, 39 "the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, 40 "who devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation."

Mr 11:17 Then He taught, saying to them, "Is it not written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations'? But you have made it a 'den of thieves.'" 18 And the scribes and chief priests heard it and sought how they might destroy Him; for they feared Him, because all the people were astonished at His teaching.

Matthew 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are kravenous wolves.

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

Jesus brings us out of the mixed sheepfold and into the true fold of His love.  Once the flock was led out of that fold, from Israel He gathered His own, took them out to a new pasture in the paroimia. Now it's true, and this is a beautiful thought, when a shepherd and his sheep were way off from the village, they wouldn't go back every night, too far to go. So he would build a little sheepfold on the hillside just for his own sheep. That's the sheepfold in view here, not a mixed sheepfold anymore. These have been led out, these are God's own and God has made a little sheepfold for them out on the hillside. And it represents the place of blessing. And the picture is like leading them out of Judaism into the new sheepfold which is the place of the Father's blessing. And to that sheepfold, Jesus says, "I am the door." He not only leads a man out of the bondage, but he leads him in to the new blessing in God, doesn't He? And He says I'm the door.

Now watch this. That little hillside sheepfold was just a little simple wall out of mud or stone or wood and it had an opening. No door, just an opening. Jesus says, "I am the door." How does that work? Just this, at night the shepherd would take all of his sheep, put them in the fold, and you know what he would do then? He would lie down across the opening and no sheep could ever go out or in without going over the body of the shepherd. Literally the shepherd was the door. So Jesus says in one breath, "I'm the Shepherd." In the next one He says, "I'm also the Door." For in the truest sense that shepherd on that hillside became the door to the sheepfold and he knew every sheep that went in and out. You cannot enter the presence of God through any other door, you must go over the broken body of Jesus Christ, that's the only way. The shepherd who lays his life down for the sheep, right? Jesus, Paul says, is the only way to have access to the Father, Ephesians 2:18.

Saved – means to be delivered safe and sound, someone recovered from a severe illness, come through a bad storm, survived a war, or was acquitted in court.

You'll also find pasture. Did you know the Shepherd not only takes care of us but He feeds us? You say, "What's our food?" Right here, isn't it? The Word of God, that's our food. And, you know, if there are some feeble sheep, that's because they're not eating. Tragically the Shepherd has to lead very slowly because we have a lot of sheep who are dragging along. If you want to be a healthy sheep, feed the Word to your soul and you can go in and out and find pasture, God's sustaining Word, feast on it. Be a healthy sheep.

There is no good reason to restrict the meaning of the verb in this passage, as if it meant no more than, ‘he will be safe.’ To be sure, safety is implied also in the words, and will go in and out; but this is only part of the meaning. Not only will he go in and out, i.e., experience perfect freedom from all real harm and danger, and this even in the small affairs of every-day living, and feel himself entirely at home in the daily routine of God’s people (see especially the beautiful words of Ps. 121:8), but in addition, he will find pasture; i.e., life and abundance, as the following verse indicates. The pasture which the true sheep finds in the study of the Word is certainly included.” Hendriksen, vol. 2, p. 109.

[1] “By going in and out, Scripture often denotes all the actions of the life, which means, to dwell. These words, therefore, present to us a twofold advantage of the Gospel, that our souls shall find pasture in it, which otherwise become faint and famished, and are fed with nothing but wind; and, next, because he will faithfully protect and guard us against the attacks of wolves and robbers.” John Calvin, Calvin’s Commentaries, Volume 7: The Gospels (Grand Rapids: Associated Publishers and Authors Inc., n.d.), p. 772.

Find Pasture (in sense of growth) 1 Chronicles 4:40 40 •where they found rich•, good pasture, and the land was very broad•, xquiet, and peaceful, for the former inhabitants there belonged to Ham.

Ps 121:1 A Song of Ascents.  I will lift up my eyes to the hills-From whence comes my help?  2 My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth.  3 He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. 4 Behold, He who keeps Israel Shall neither slumber nor sleep.  5 The LORD is your keeper; The LORD is your shade at your right hand.  6 The sun shall not strike you by day, Nor the moon by night.  7 The LORD shall preserve you from all evil; He shall preserve your soul.  8 The LORD shall preserve your going out and your coming in From this time forth, and even forevermore. (NKJV)

Destination Sickness – Arriving where you wanted to go and not wanting anything you have.

10 "The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Stealing is the purpose of the thief, but he will kill and destroy if necessary

[1] “This is a proverbial or well known way of insisting that there is only one means of receiving eternal life (the Synoptics might have preferred to speak of entering the kingdom, although entering into life is also attested there), only one source of knowledge of God, only one fount of spiritual nourishment, only one basis for spiritual security—Jesus alone.” Carson, p. 385

That they (people) may keep on having life (eternal, he means)” as he shows in 10:28. He is “the life” (14:6). And may have it abundantly (Repetition of (may keep on having) abundance.“to have a surplus,” true to the meaning of overflow

Romans 5:20 20 Now ithe law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, jgrace abounded all the more,

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

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30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL GOD’S WAY OR OUR WAY

10Apr

Being a disciple of Christ means you are following Him, in other words, You are saved, you are worshiping Him, obeying Him, Learning more about Him, and telling others about Him, so my question is who or what is your God, is it your way or is it Yahweh? Yahweh is the self existent one, the covenant making name of God as it appears when He makes the promise to Abraham that through his Seed (Christ) all the families of the earth will be blessed, in other words they can be saved.  Apparently for most folks it is their way, since the #1 most requested song at funerals is I did it my way.

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

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

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JOHN 10:3-6 JESUS SAID HE WHO ENTERS BY THE DOOR IS THE SHEPHERD OF THE SHEEP PART 2

7Apr

John 10:3 "To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 "And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 "Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers." 6 Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.

 In this message we will see that Jesus is the True Shepherd and He is the only one who can get to His Sheep (Those who will trust Him for Salvation).  He leads us out of the old false ways we are in, whether it is religion, drugs, alcohol, or any other wrong thing that we are involved in. He says that His people (His Sheep) will flee from the false teachers because they ultimately will belong to Christ. Somehow, because we are elect, God protects us from the false teachers (shepherds) and keeps us from following them into an eternity in hell.  This is a passage that has many applications for our lives. Are we following the false teaching of philosophy, religion, psychology, worldly ways or anything that leads us away from Christ?  Are we teaching our children to follow the True Shepherd, or are we allowing them to find their own way that may lead them to hell? Do you know the voice and are you following the ONE TRUE SHEPHERD JESUS CHRIST? Hear His cry today, for He says today is the day of salvation.

 The doorkeeper opens the door for the True Shepherd

 Verse 3 "To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.

The doorkeeper could either be John the Baptist who opens the way for the Lord to minister or the Holy Spirit who opens the door to our heart.

Several flocks might be herded in the same fold overnight. But the shepherd knows his own sheep (verse 27) and calls their names. They love and trust their shepherd.

Verse 4 "And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.

Goeth before. As the Eastern shepherd always does. He brings us out of whatever false religion or ideology that we are in.

Having pushed them forth, he now leads them.

John 11:52 and not for the nation only, but also to gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad.

Staff in hand he leads the way in front of the flock and they follow him. What a lesson for pastors who seek to drive the church like cattle and fail. The true pastor leads in love, in words, in deeds.

  1. The Sheep recognize His voice and follow Him

Verse 5 "Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers."

Follow. “It is necessary that they should be taught to follow, and not stray away into the unfenced fields of wheat which lie so temptingly on either side. The shepherd calls from time to time to remind them of his presence. They know his voice and follow on; but if a stranger call, they stop, lift up their heads in alarm, and if the call is repeated, they turn and flee from him; for they know not the voice of strangers. This is a simple fact. [1]

They simply will not follow such a man or woman, these well-trained sheep will not. But will flee from him

If only pastors had the sheep (old and young) so trained that they would run away from and not run after the strange voices that call them to false philosophy, false psychology, false ethics, false religion, false life.

Luke 15 the lost sheep, the lost coin and the parable of the lost son. God pursues sinners and has great joy when they turn in repentance and come to Him for salvation.

Verse 6 Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.

As David was designated the king of Israel by the prophet Samuel, so also Jesus, the Son of David, was designated Israel’s King by the prophet John the Baptist. The sheep in the sheepfold are the Jews to whom our Lord came[2] as the Messiah. His flock is but a portion of the sheep in the sheepfold. His sheep are the “elect,” the sheep whom God the Father has given to the Son (6:37, 39), and thus Jesus calls them “His own sheep” (verses 3, 4). Because they are His sheep, they “know His voice,” recognize Him as the Messiah, and trust in Him as their Shepherd. These sheep, who belong to the true Shepherd, also know better than to follow any false shepherd. Instead, they avoid such “shepherds” by fleeing from them.

Ps 23:1 A Psalm of David. The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.  2 He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.  3 He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name's sake.  4 Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. 5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over. 6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life; And I will dwell in the house of the LORD Forever.

[1] Vincent, M. R. (2002). Word studies in the New Testament (Jn 10:4). Bellingham, WA: 

 

30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL GOD’S WORD IS TRUE

3Apr

I saw a bumper sticker recently that said that believing in Evolution and having Faith in God was okay. The Bible says in the beginning God created everything and it was all good. The Bible also says that death did not enter in until after Adam and Eve sinned, so if I am to believe this idea that God created everything and that He used evolution, then how does that line up with the fact that the Bible says Then God saw everything that He had made, and indeed it was very good.  It doesn’t.  If we can’t believe the Bible when it says In the beginning God, then you may as well throw your Bible away, because we can’t believe any of 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.

 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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