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

30Jun

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

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

Mt 26, Mark 14, Luke 19.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Martha Serves, but Mary Worships.

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

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

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

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

Her Humility

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

26Jun

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

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

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

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

23Jun

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

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

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

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

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

All men are dead

All need a spiritual birth that only comes from god

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

When God gives life, He gives eternal life

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

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

Celebration at beginning – wedding

Sorrow at the end – a funeral

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

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

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

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

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

convinced by any amount of evidence.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

God’s Love in Giving Himself to Us

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

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

Jesus’ Love in Manifesting Himself to Us

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

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

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

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

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30 SECOND DEVOTIONAL ARE WE PRAYING OR COMPLAINING

19Jun

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

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

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

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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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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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