Jesus knows what I am thinking in my heart. I may not have said it but he knows.
Jesus has a question for me. It is one I must confront.
Jesus wants to know “Why am I thinking these things?”
So why am I? Continue reading
Jesus knows what I am thinking in my heart. I may not have said it but he knows.
Jesus has a question for me. It is one I must confront.
Jesus wants to know “Why am I thinking these things?”
So why am I? Continue reading
King David knows a lot. King David has seen a lot.
What does David know?
“God’s grace and order wins; godlessness loses.” ~King David
Source: Psalm 10:16
Jesus is clear and purposeful. Jesus has questions. Do I have answers? Some interesting lessons here for me.
After this, Jesus went across the Sea of Galilee (some call it Tiberias). A huge crowd followed him, attracted by the miracles they had seen him do among the sick. When he got to the other side, he climbed a hill and sat down, surrounded by his disciples. It was nearly time for the Feast of Passover, kept annually by the Jews.
When Jesus looked out and saw that a large crowd had arrived, he said to Philip, “Where can we buy bread to feed these people?” He said this to stretch Philip’s faith. He already knew what he was going to do.
Source: John 6:1-4
This is a very common theme that leads to wisdom. So follow the thread from Solomon to Jesus to Paul to James to Peter.
In addition to King Solomon, Jesus challenged us to “Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now, and don’t get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow. God will help you deal with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.” Jesus taught us to pray for “our daily bread”.
Paul (2 Corinthians 4:16) shows us that “The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.”
James (4:15) said the same thing; “You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Instead, make it a habit to say, “If the Master wills it and we’re still alive, we’ll do this or that.”
Peter challenges us “Since everything here today might well be gone tomorrow, do you see how essential it is to live a holy life? Daily expect the Day of God, eager for its arrival.”
So, this is important to God.
God is God. Jesus is in control. My planning horizon is pretty much limited to right now and today.
The only thing certain about tomorrow is that God will still be God and Jesus will still be in control of God’s country (aka Kingdom). The only ones who know anything about tomorrow are God and Jesus.
“Don’t brashly announce what you’re going to do tomorrow; you don’t know the first thing about tomorrow.” ~King Solomon
Source: Proverbs 27:1
A woman anoints Jesus with a very expensive perfume, worth a years salary. She does it as an act of love. Jesus knows what it means. She has pre-anointed him for his soon to be burial. No one else really gets it.
In fact, some of them get offended and indignant. The money should have been given to the poor, they say.
Were they really that concerned about the poor? Am I that concerned about the poor? Or is just for a show? Jesus knows.
While he makes a statement about the poor always being with us, it sounds more like an indictment. Why haven’t they done something already? The poor are all around us. We can help. We can help today.
The more important point is that they missed the opportunity to honor Jesus. The woman who anointed him knows who Jesus is and honors him.
Will I honor Jesus? The question rings out. Am I more interested in being religious (helping the poor) or doing something significant for Jesus? Have I asked Jesus what to do today?
Jesus was at Bethany, a guest of Simon the Leper. While he was eating dinner, a woman came up carrying a bottle of very expensive perfume. Opening the bottle, she poured it on his head. Some of the guests became furious among themselves. “That’s criminal! A sheer waste! This perfume could have been sold for well over a year’s wages and handed out to the poor.” They swelled up in anger, nearly bursting with indignation over her.
But Jesus said, “Let her alone. Why are you giving her a hard time? She has just done something wonderfully significant for me. You will have the poor with you every day for the rest of your lives. Whenever you feel like it, you can do something for them. Not so with me. She did what she could when she could—she pre-anointed my body for burial. And you can be sure that wherever in the whole world the Message is preached, what she just did is going to be talked about admiringly.”
Source: Mark 14:3-9
Jesus is very focused on what brings about miracles. Jesus knows a thing or two about that. Miracles are his everyday life.
What impresses Jesus? It is always bold belief.
What does Jesus do as a result? First Jesus forgives the paraplegic. This drive the religious leaders nuts. Then he heals the man. The paraplegic gets up and walks. This drives the crowd into amazement.
Jesus is in control. He has the authority to forgive and he does. He has the authority to heal and he does. Nothing is impossible in the world that Jesus is in charge of. His God is God.
Back in the boat, Jesus and the disciples recrossed the sea to Jesus’ hometown. They were hardly out of the boat when some men carried a paraplegic on a stretcher and set him down in front of them. Jesus, impressed by their bold belief, said to the paraplegic, “Cheer up, son. I forgive your sins.”
Some religion scholars whispered, “Why, that’s blasphemy!”
Jesus knew what they were thinking, and said, “Why this gossipy whispering? Which do you think is simpler: to say, ‘I forgive your sins,’ or, ‘Get up and walk’? Well, just so it’s clear that I’m the Son of Man and authorized to do either, or both. . . .” At this he turned to the paraplegic and said, “Get up. Take your bed and go home.” And the man did it. The crowd was awestruck, amazed and pleased that God had authorized Jesus to work among them this way.
Source: Matthew 9:1-6
Relax, God is in control. I keep hearing that from our Father. He promised a rest. That is His goal for us. This rest requires that we have faith in Him.
If I believe that nothing is impossible for God, that he loves me and has a great plan for me, I can be “at rest”. His peace isn’t easily understood but it is real. His rest is like no other.
There is only one requirement. I must believe. If I don’t believe, I exasperate God. Now that is the truth.
May I believe and enter into rest.
For as long, then, as that promise of resting in him pulls us on to God’s goal for us, we need to be careful that we’re not disqualified. We received the same promises as those people in the wilderness, but the promises didn’t do them a bit of good because they didn’t receive the promises with faith. If we believe, though, we’ll experience that state of resting. But not if we don’t have faith. Remember that God said, Exasperated, I vowed, “They’ll never get where they’re going, never be able to sit down and rest.”
Source: Hebrews 4:1-3
Jesus is very clear in what he is saying to his disciples.
Jesus knows it is not about Jesus. It is only about God. Jesus knows he doesn’t do anything on his own accord. God is God. There is no way around it. God is in charge.
The main focus of Jesus is to listen to God, to make a decision and then act by carrying out orders. Jesus knows it is not enough to just listen. A big part of obedience is to decide to act on what you’ve heard.
We don’t have to take the word of Jesus on its own. Jesus has witnesses. They are God, the Holy Spirit and John the Baptist. When Jesus was baptized, the moment Jesus came up out of the baptismal waters, the skies opened up and he saw God’s Spirit—it looked like a dove—descending and landing on him. And along with the Spirit, a voice: “This is my Son, chosen and marked by my love, delight of my life.”
“I can’t do a solitary thing on my own: I listen, then I decide. You can trust my decision because I’m not out to get my own way but only to carry out orders. If I were simply speaking on my own account, it would be an empty, self-serving witness. But an independent witness confirms me, the most reliable Witness of all. Furthermore, you all saw and heard John, and he gave expert and reliable testimony about me, didn’t he?” ~~Jesus
Source: John 5:30-33
Paul reminds me. I am at war. It is an ongoing war. It doesn’t stop.
Who is the enemy? The enemy is the Devil, the evil one. His mission, as described by Jesus, is to kill, steal and destroy.
The good news is that God has given me weapons. I have to learn how to use them. They each serve a different purpose.
Jesus knows we will have lots of leaders who deceive us about the end of the world. It happened again just recently. The day came and went. Nothing happened. Nada. Zip.
Jesus challenges me to not panic when I hear about wars, famines, earthquakes, etc. Jesus reminds me this normal and routine.
Jesus is calm. Jesus doesn’t get rattled and is at peace. Jesus leaves the timing up to God.
God is God and his timetable will prevail. Jesus knows that God is in control. Everything will work out according to his plan.
Jesus began, “Watch out for doomsday deceivers. Many leaders are going to show up with forged identities claiming, ‘I’m the One.’ They will deceive a lot of people. When you hear of wars and rumored wars, keep your head and don’t panic. This is routine history, and no sign of the end. Nation will fight nation and ruler fight ruler, over and over. Earthquakes will occur in various places. There will be famines. But these things are nothing compared to what’s coming.
Source: Mark 13:5-8
Today is the day to focus on what God wants me to do. That is the simplest way forward.
Complex, multi-year plans are useless. God is God. Jesus is in control. I don’t know anything about what God wants beyond today.
Jesus has challenged me to love today. That is pretty simple. When I look at it, that is what Jesus will want me to do tomorrow as well. The people may be different. The circumstances will be different. The challenge and goal will be the same.
“In character, in manner, in style, in all things, the supreme excellence is simplicity.” ~Henry Wadsworth
Jesus is on a mission from God. God sent him to redeem us and make us right with God. Jesus knew the right response is for us to change our mind and respect Jesus.
That isn’t happening.
I have a choice to make today. Will I change my mind (repent) about Jesus or not? Jesus has options about who will be in control with him in God’s world (country or Kingdom).
Jesus will choose based on what I decide and do. Jesus will clean house. Jesus is clear.
“Finally there was only one left: a beloved son. In a last-ditch effort, he sent him, thinking, ‘Surely they will respect my son.’
“But those farmhands saw their chance. They rubbed their hands together in greed and said, ‘This is the heir! Let’s kill him and have it all for ourselves.’ They grabbed him, killed him, and threw him over the fence.
“What do you think the owner of the vineyard will do? Right. He’ll come and clean house. Then he’ll assign the care of the vineyard to others. Read it for yourselves in Scripture:
That stone the masons threw out
is now the cornerstone!
This is God’s work;
we rub our eyes—we can hardly believe it!”
Source: Mark 12: 6-11
Pilate had heard the “accusations” from the Jewish leaders. He was trying to figure out what to do with Jesus. Jesus isn’t helping him one bit. Jesus knows what needs to happen here and what will happen. Jesus is going to the cross.
Jesus knows that it is not about what Jesus believes. Jesus knows that he is the Messiah and Son of God. What does Pilate know and believe. More importantly, what do I know and believe about Jesus?
So … what do I say?
Jesus was placed before Pilate, the governor, who questioned him: “Are you the ‘King of the Jews’?”
Jesus said, “If you say so.”
Source: Matthew 27:11
Jesus had just chased the merchants out of the temple. He was furious at what was going on.
How dare he, thought the Jews. So … they confronted him. They wanted to know what authority gave him permission to tear up the temple.
Of course, Jesus knew. God had sent Jesus on a mission. Jesus was going to complete it. Jesus was acting under God’s authority. The ultimate proof would be his death and resurrection.
I challenge God and Jesus. I want to answers to certain questions. Jesus answers in a way I don’t expect. God is God. God has a plan. None of what God is doing is contingent on my approval.
But the Jews were upset. They asked, “What credentials can you present to justify this?” Jesus answered, “Tear down this Temple and in three days I’ll put it back together.”
They were indignant: “It took forty-six years to build this Temple, and you’re going to rebuild it in three days?” But Jesus was talking about his body as the Temple. Later, after he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this. They then put two and two together and believed both what was written in Scripture and what Jesus had said.
During the time he was in Jerusalem, those days of the Passover Feast, many people noticed the signs he was displaying and, seeing they pointed straight to God, entrusted their lives to him. But Jesus didn’t entrust his life to them. He knew them inside and out, knew how untrustworthy they were. He didn’t need any help in seeing right through them.
Herod bore the title of tetrarch (“ruler of a quarter”) and is referred to as both “Herod the Tetrarch” and “King Herod”. Herod had a “Jesus problem”. Herod was confused. It showed.
Herod asked a reasonable question. Who is Jesus? He wanted to see Jesus in action. How do I answer the question of who Jesus is? Can I be clear about that?
Am I presenting Jesus in such a way that others want to know who Jesus is? Do they want to see Jesus in action?
Herod, the ruler, heard of these goings on and didn’t know what to think. There were people saying John had come back from the dead, others that Elijah had appeared, still others that some prophet of long ago had shown up. Herod said, “But I killed John—took off his head. So who is this that I keep hearing about?” Curious, he looked for a chance to see him in action.
Source: Matthew 9:7-9
Uh oh! Here we go.
How often do I jump to conclusions about what I saw or heard? Way too often. More than I like to admit. Probably much more than I actually know.
It is wise advise to not assume and take time to discover what is really going on. Maybe it is what I thought. It is entirely possible that it isn’t what I thought.
God is God. He is the only one who knows for sure. It will be up to Jesus to be the final judge and clearly not up to me.
“Don’t jump to conclusions—there may be
a perfectly good explanation for what you just saw.” ~King Solomon
Source: Proverbs 25:8
Jesus is very clear that not everything is going to be “planned out”.
God has a plan. God knows what the plan is. God is God. I am not. It is essential to keep that in mind.
Jesus knows that our mission is seek God daily. What does Jesus want me to do right now? That is the central question.
“Enjoy the simple, the natural and the plain. Along with that comes the ability to do things spontaneously and have them work.” ~~Benjamin Hoff
Jesus is always clear. There will be a resurrection.
There will also be a judgement. Those who have lived the right way are going to walk into life. Those who haven’t won’t will walk into judgement.
No confusion here at all. I acknowledge that I am clear about this.
God is God. Jesus is the only Judge. God has also given all judgement over to His son, Jesus the Messiah.
I am clear about that as well. There is a resurrection of life. In Him, we live that kind of life.
May I stay clear about what is before me and live the resurrection life.
“Those who have lived the wrong way, will walk into a resurrection Judgment.” ~~Jesus John 5:28-29 (The Message)
Jesus knows how to get to the heart of the matter.
It is a simple question.
Jesus wants to know who I think he is.
Will I answer like Peter? Is that what I believe?
Jesus wants to know if I know that he is “the Messiah” (the anointed one who is King).
One time when Jesus was off praying by himself, his disciples nearby, he asked them, “What are the crowds saying about me, about who I am?”
They said, “John the Baptizer. Others say Elijah. Still others say that one of the prophets from long ago has come back.”
He then asked, “And you—what are you saying about me? Who am I?”
Peter answered, “the Messiah of God.” Jesus then warned them to keep it quiet. They were to tell no one what Peter had said.
Source: Luke 9:18-21
We know the story of the rich man who came to Jesus. Eventually, as the story unfolded, Jesus challenged him to “Go sell whatever you own and give it to the poor. All your wealth will then be heavenly wealth. And come follow me.”
Some very important points:
Looking at his disciples, Jesus said, “Do you have any idea how difficult it is for people who ‘have it all’ to enter God’s kingdom?” The disciples couldn’t believe what they were hearing, but Jesus kept on: “You can’t imagine how difficult. I’d say it’s easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for the rich to get into God’s kingdom.”
That set the disciples back on their heels. “Then who has any chance at all?” they asked.
Jesus was blunt: “No chance at all if you think you can pull it off by yourself. Every chance in the world if you let God do it.”
Source: Mark 10:23-27
Jesus died for us. Jesus was buried for 3 days.
But Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. As she wept, she knelt to look into the tomb and saw two angels sitting there, dressed in white, one at the head, the other at the foot of where Jesus’ body had been laid. They said to her, “Woman, why do you weep?”
“They took my Master,” she said, “and I don’t know where they put him.” After she said this, she turned away and saw Jesus standing there. But she didn’t recognize him.
Jesus spoke to her, “Woman, why do you weep? Who are you looking for?”
She, thinking that he was the gardener, said, “Mister, if you took him, tell me where you put him so I can care for him.”
Jesus said, “Mary.”
Turning to face him, she said in Hebrew, “Rabboni!” meaning “Teacher!”
Jesus said, “Don’t cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go to my brothers and tell them, ‘I ascend to my Father and your Father, my God and your God.’”
Mary Magdalene went, telling the news to the disciples: “I saw the Master!” And she told them everything he said to her.
Source: John 20:11-18
Jesus is direct with me. When Jesus speaks, I better listen. Jesus has something to say.
There are times I have no sense of God. Nothing is impossible with God. I write it and I say it. I believe it but not all the time. I have no sense of God. That is just plain. Jesus points it out to me, if I am willing to listen.
Jesus is challenging me. How many times does he have to tell me? How many times does he have to perform miracles to convince me? How many?
The good news is that Jesus comes through in spite of what I believe. That is real good news because it is a gift and not anything I earned.
God is God. God’s will is going to be done.
When they came back down the mountain to the other disciples, they saw a huge crowd around them, and the religion scholars cross-examining them. As soon as the people in the crowd saw Jesus, admiring excitement stirred them. They ran and greeted him. He asked, “What’s going on? What’s all the commotion?”
A man out of the crowd answered, “Teacher, I brought my mute son, made speechless by a demon, to you. Whenever it seizes him, it throws him to the ground. He foams at the mouth, grinds his teeth, and goes stiff as a board. I told your disciples, hoping they could deliver him, but they couldn’t.”
Jesus said, “What a generation! No sense of God! How many times do I have to go over these things? How much longer do I have to put up with this? Bring the boy here.” They brought him. When the demon saw Jesus, it threw the boy into a seizure, causing him to writhe on the ground and foam at the mouth.
He asked the boy’s father, “How long has this been going on?”
“Ever since he was a little boy. Many times it pitches him into fire or the river to do away with him. If you can do anything, do it. Have a heart and help us!”
Source: Mark 9:14-22
Pontius Pilate was the fifth prefect of the Roman province of Judaea from AD 26–36. He served under Emperor Tiberius. Essentially he was a Governor in the Roman empire. He is the highest political authority in Jerusalem at the time.
Jesus is standing before him. It is a life or death conversation. The Jewish high Priests want him crucified and out of the way. Pilate is trying to find a way out. He is hoping Jesus will help him out of this dilemma.
Pilate told them he couldn’t find anything wrong with him. The Jews answered, “We have a law, and by that law he must die because he claimed to be the Son of God.”
So there Jesus stood. Pilate seeks to interrogate him again. Jesus doesn’t answer. Imaging that. No answer. Just stands there.
Jesus will not be interrogated. Is it then unusual that when I cry out “Why God” I hear birds chirping. Jesus is the Son of God. I need to understand that. If I am not getting an answer then maybe I need to focus on who is in charge. It isn’t me! Who am I to question Jesus? I am to pray, May your will be done.
Pilate tries another approach. He now pulls out the “authority card”.
How did that work?
Jesus lets Pilate know that Pilate has no authority over Jesus. None. Not a bit. The only authority Pilate has is given him by God. (Note: a lesson for our partisan politics).
When Pilate heard this, he became even more scared. He went back into the palace and said to Jesus, “Where did you come from?”
Jesus gave no answer.
Pilate said, “You won’t talk? Don’t you know that I have the authority to pardon you, and the authority to—crucify you?”
Jesus said, “You haven’t a shred of authority over me except what has been given you from heaven. That’s why the one who betrayed me to you has committed a far greater fault.”
Source: John 19:8-11
There is something Jesus knows about me and I am thinking he knows it about you as well. The disciples were all in the same boat in thinking they were in trouble. No dissenters to be found.
He then left them, got back in the boat, and headed for the other side. But the disciples forgot to pack a lunch. Except for a single loaf of bread, there wasn’t a crumb in the boat. Jesus warned, “Be very careful. Keep a sharp eye out for the contaminating yeast of Pharisees and the followers of Herod.”
Meanwhile, the disciples were finding fault with each other because they had forgotten to bring bread. Jesus overheard and said, “Why are you fussing because you forgot bread? Don’t you see the point of all this? Don’t you get it at all? Remember the five loaves I broke for the five thousand? How many baskets of leftovers did you pick up?”
They said, “Twelve.”
“And the seven loaves for the four thousand—how many bags full of leftovers did you get?”
He said, “Do you still not get it?”
Source: Mark 8:13-21
Jesus is on a mission. There are a lot of details to work out so that he can complete that God has sent him to do. He knew where he needed to go and he knew what he needed to say. He knew everything. Off he went … on a mission for God.
Jesus, having prayed this prayer, left with his disciples and crossed over the brook Kidron at a place where there was a garden. He and his disciples entered it.
Judas, his betrayer, knew the place because Jesus and his disciples went there often. So Judas led the way to the garden, and the Roman soldiers and police sent by the high priests and Pharisees followed. They arrived there with lanterns and torches and swords. Jesus, knowing by now everything that was coming down on him, went out and met them. He said, “Who are you after?”
They answered, “Jesus the Nazarene.”
He said, “That’s me.” The soldiers recoiled, totally taken aback. Judas, his betrayer, stood out like a sore thumb.
Jesus asked again, “Who are you after?”
They answered, “Jesus the Nazarene.”
“I told you,” said Jesus, “that’s me. I’m the one. So if it’s me you’re after, let these others go.” (This validated the words in his prayer, “I didn’t lose one of those you gave.”)
Source: John 18:1-9
Jesus knew it was time for his death, burial and resurrection. Jesus knew what was about to happen. It was all planned out by his heavenly Father. He knew on the other side he would usher in God’s country (aka the Kingdom of God).
When it was time, he sat down, all the apostles with him, and said, “You’ve no idea how much I have looked forward to eating this Passover meal with you before I enter my time of suffering. It’s the last one I’ll eat until we all eat it together in the kingdom of God.”
Taking the cup, he blessed it, then said, “Take this and pass it among you. As for me, I’ll not drink wine again until the kingdom of God arrives.”
Taking bread, he blessed it, broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, given for you. Eat it in my memory.”
He did the same with the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant written in my blood, blood poured out for you.
Source: Luke 22:14-20
Jesus takes off after the religious leaders and scholars. He does it all the time. I think he wants me to take what he says seriously. I really do!
“Don’t let people do that to you, put you (i.e. the religious leaders) on a pedestal like that. You all have a single Teacher, and you are all classmates. Don’t set people up as experts over your life, letting them tell you what to do. Save that authority for God; let him tell you what to do. No one else should carry the title of ‘Father’; you have only one Father, and he’s in heaven. And don’t let people maneuver you into taking charge of them. There is only one Life-Leader for you and them—Messiah.”
Source: Matthew 23:8-10
“After Job had interceded for his friends, God restored his fortune—and then doubled it!” ~Moses Job 42:10
That is His name. But what does His name mean?
“Know this: GOD (Yahweh), your God (Elohiym), is God (Elohiym) indeed, a God you can depend upon. He keeps his covenant of loyal love with those who love him and observe his commandments for a thousand generations. But he also pays back those who hate him, pays them the wages of death; he isn’t slow to pay them off—those who hate him, he pays right on time.” ~Moses
“Do you think you’re about to be promoted to heaven? Think again. You’re on a mudslide to hell. The one who listens to you, listens to me. The one who rejects you, rejects me. And rejecting me is the same as rejecting God, who sent me.” ~~Jesus
(Luke 10:15 The Message)
So, fast forward. Eventually Joshua leads them all into the Promised Land. They fight for 5 years. Caleb comes to Joshua one day and says
I was forty years old when Moses the servant of the LORD sent me from Kadesh Barnea to explore the land. And I brought him back a report according to my convictions, but my fellow Israelites who went up with me made the hearts of the people melt in fear. I, however, followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly. So on that day Moses swore to me, ‘The land on which your feet have walked will be your inheritance and that of your children forever, because you have followed the LORD my God wholeheartedly.
Caleb remembered what God had told him. He held onto it for 45 years. He never wavered. So he continues his conversation with Joshua.
So here I am today, eighty-five years old! I am still as strong today as the day Moses sent me out; I’m just as vigorous to go out to battle now as I was then. Now give me this hill country that the LORD promised me that day. You yourself heard then that the Anakites were there and their cities were large and fortified, but, the LORD helping me, I will drive them out just as he said.
At 85 he wants to go and fight some more. He is strong and vigorous. He is ready to go at it. He wants what God promised him and he won’t stop until he gets it.
So … I want to be like Caleb. Seriously. I want to be like him. I want to fight to the end. I want to be as strong at 85 as I was at 40.
Source: Joshua 14:6-12
Am I willing to take the risk of faith? Jesus challenges me to be persistent. What are the implications to my faith?
A woman who had suffered a condition of hemorrhaging for twelve years—a long succession of physicians had treated her, and treated her badly, taking all her money and leaving her worse off than before—had heard about Jesus. She slipped in from behind and touched his robe. She was thinking to herself, “If I can put a finger on his robe, I can get well.” The moment she did it, the flow of blood dried up. She could feel the change and knew her plague was over and done with.
At the same moment, Jesus felt energy discharging from him. He turned around to the crowd and asked, “Who touched my robe?” His disciples said, “What are you talking about? With this crowd pushing and jostling you, you’re asking, ‘Who touched me?’ Dozens have touched you!”
But he went on asking, looking around to see who had done it. The woman, knowing what had happened, knowing she was the one, stepped up in fear and trembling, knelt before him, and gave him the whole story.
Jesus said to her, “Daughter, you took a risk of faith, and now you’re healed and whole. Live well, live blessed! Be healed of your plague.”
Source: Mark 5:25-34
Jesus is all about getting us ready for what is coming. Jesus doesn’t leave me in the dark. Jesus is very clear with me.
Source: John 16:1-4
It is stunning and kicks my rear end, but Jesus doesn’t have to answer my questions. Jesus is the Son of God and he answers to no one but his Heavenly Father.
Source: Luke 20:1-8
Does it sound like we’re patting ourselves on the back, insisting on our credentials, asserting our authority? Well, we’re not. Neither do we need letters of endorsement, either to you or from you. You yourselves are all the endorsement we need. Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. The Messiah himself wrote it—not with ink, but with God’s living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives—and we publish it. ~~2 Corinthians 3:1-3
May I live today in the power of God’s Spirit and His authority.
May that be all I need.
It was a nice day for a boat ride. I’ve been on them before. It is a beautiful day. You take off. You didn’t know there was a storm brewing that you couldn’t see. It turns ugly. Real ugly.
Late that day he said to them, “Let’s go across to the other side.” They took him in the boat as he was. Other boats came along. A huge storm came up. Waves poured into the boat, threatening to sink it. And Jesus was in the stern, head on a pillow, sleeping! They roused him, saying, “Teacher, is it nothing to you that we’re going down?”
Awake now, he told the wind to pipe down and said to the sea, “Quiet! Settle down!” The wind ran out of breath; the sea became smooth as glass. Jesus reprimanded the disciples: “Why are you such cowards? Don’t you have any faith at all?”
They were in absolute awe, staggered. “Who is this, anyway?” they asked. “Wind and sea at his beck and call!”
Source: Mark 4:35-41
Jesus challenges me. Am I ready?
Early the next morning Jesus was returning to the city. He was hungry. Seeing a lone fig tree alongside the road, he approached it anticipating a breakfast of figs. When he got to the tree, there was nothing but fig leaves. He said, “No more figs from this tree—ever!” The fig tree withered on the spot, a dry stick. The disciples saw it happen. They rubbed their eyes, saying, “Did we really see this? A leafy tree one minute, a dry stick the next?”
But Jesus was matter-of-fact: “Yes—and if you embrace this kingdom life and don’t doubt God, you’ll not only do minor feats like I did to the fig tree, but also triumph over huge obstacles. This mountain, for instance, you’ll tell, ‘Go jump in the lake,’ and it will jump. Absolutely everything, ranging from small to large, as you make it a part of your believing prayer, gets included as you lay hold of God.”
Source: Matthew 21:18-22
Jesus is clear and direct. He always is. Here are some things I need to understand.
“I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire. But if you make yourselves at home with me and my words are at home in you, you can be sure that whatever you ask will be listened to and acted upon. This is how my Father shows who he is—when you produce grapes, when you mature as my disciples.” ~Jesus
Source: John 15:5-8
God has given us all the gift of wisdom. It is amazing what we learn in the wisdom books in the Bible.
So what is today’s lesson?
“Do your best, prepare for the worst—
then trust God to bring victory.” ~King Solomon
Is Jesus a respectable religious leader?
May I know that God is God.
Jesus does what He sees the Father doing.
May I do the same.
King David has some great insight into God’s goal for us.
“You put us in charge of your handcrafted world,
repeated to us your Genesis-charge,
Made us lords of sheep and cattle,
even animals out in the wild,
Birds flying and fish swimming,
whales singing in the ocean deeps.” ~King David
Source: Psalm 8:5-8
Can I out-god God? No, I can’t.
So why are you now trying to out-god God, loading these new believers down with rules that crushed our ancestors and crushed us, too? Don’t we believe that we are saved because the Master Jesus amazingly and out of sheer generosity moved to save us just as he did those from beyond our nation? So what are we arguing about?
Source: Acts 15:10-11
Is God’s word important for my life? Am I living it out in my life?
For most believers we read the word, but the word in not living in and through us. Francis Chan shares the importance of having the word of God live through you and through obedience following God.
Jesus is at the end of it all now. He has been arrested, jailed and “at trial” before the Judge.
With Jesus I am faced with a choice.
Jesus greatest desire and passion is that I accept Him and the life he has to offer me.
“I came with the authority of my Father, and you either dismiss me or avoid me.” ~~Jesus (John 5:41-44 The Message)
“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” ~~Napoleon Hill
Jesus said, “If you’ve had a bath in the morning, you only need your feet washed now and you’re clean from head to toe. My concern, you understand, is holiness, not hygiene. So now you’re clean. But not every one of you.” (He knew who was betraying him. That’s why he said, “Not every one of you.”) After he had finished washing their feet, he took his robe, put it back on, and went back to his place at the table.
Source: John 13:10-12
Jesus is radical.
Here is the mandate from Jesus.
“I’ve come to start a fire on this earth! I’ve come to change everything, turn everything right side up! Do you think I came to smooth things over and make everything nice? Not so. I’ve come to disrupt and confront! From now on, when you find five in a house, it will be— three against two, and two against three; Father against son, and son against father; Mother against daughter, and daughter against mother; Mother-in-law against bride, and bride against mother-in-law.” ~~Jesus (Luke 12)
Here is the real deal about faith.
Jesus is right! It isn’t about ‘more’.
The apostles came up and said to the Master, “Give us more faith.”
But the Master said, “You don’t need more faith. There is no ‘more’ or ‘less’ in faith. If you have a bare kernel of faith, say the size of a poppy seed, you could say to this sycamore tree, ‘Go jump in the lake,’ and it would do it.
Source: Luke 17:5-6
I find it way to easy to blame God. After all, he is in control, right?
On any given day, at any given moment, that is the easy way out.
Not my fault!
Jesus challenges me to look at my own heart. Jesus knows where evil comes from. Evil doesn’t come from God.
At a fundamental level, I need to look in the mirror. Continue reading
Jesus takes Peter, James and John with him. They will be his witness to what happens and what God says.
They were about to be present at a stunning time in our history.
God spoke and is clear. Jesus is God’s son. Jesus bears the mark of God. That mark is love. Jesus is the focus of God’s delight.
My job is to listen to Jesus.
Why? God said so! God is God. God has spoken.
God’s word is true and can’t be broken.
Six days later, three of them saw that glory. Jesus took Peter and the brothers, James and John, and led them up a high mountain. His appearance changed from the inside out, right before their eyes. Sunlight poured from his face. His clothes were filled with light. Then they realized that Moses and Elijah were also there in deep conversation with him.
Peter broke in, “Master, this is a great moment! What would you think if I built three memorials here on the mountain—one for you, one for Moses, one for Elijah?”
While he was going on like this, babbling, a light-radiant cloud enveloped them, and sounding from deep in the cloud a voice: “This is my Son, marked by my love, focus of my delight. Listen to him.”
When the disciples heard it, they fell flat on their faces, scared to death. But Jesus came over and touched them. “Don’t be afraid.” When they opened their eyes and looked around all they saw was Jesus, only Jesus.
Source: Matthew 17:1-8
Breaking news! Jesus raises Lazarus from the dead so the religious leaders decide to kill Lazarus. Talk about not getting it.
OK, back to the real story. Mary spends a fortune on perfume to anoint the feet of Jesus.
Jesus knew what was going on. Jesus always does. Jesus can see into our hearts.
That is the real story here. Jesus knows. I can’t fool him. I shouldn’t try.
My focus needs to be on pleasing him.
Mary knew that is the main thing. The religious leaders didn’t know it. Judas didn’t know it. Continue reading
I can count on Jesus and what he says. The word of Jesus is true. Jesus never deceives me.
I may not understand what Jesus is saying but that is my challenge. I need to lean in and listen carefully. I need to play it back in my mind until I “get it”. Continue reading
Things are going to get rough. I am not going “to get my way”. That is a reality and I know it is true. I may not like it but that isn’t the issue.
My job is to follow orders. That is it. I must be a good soldier for Jesus.
I have to play by God’s rules. God is God and I must accept that. Anything else will lead to failure. I must truly think on this. God will make it plain to me. Continue reading
Jesus is direct. Jesus has no tolerance for the religious and their hypocritical ways.
I must take the warning from Jesus seriously. Jesus has given us all a sign. Jesus died, was buried, rose from the dead (the Jonah sign) and has ascended into heaven to be with God. Continue reading
I like to think I can do it all myself and that I don’t need any help.
I need to change my mind (repent) because that has me missing God’s goal for my life (sin).
I can’t succeed without the help of Jesus, the Messiah. That is reality and I need to get on board with that. It is all about Jesus and nothing about me. Continue reading
Jesus is clear. I need to tell everyone I know how Jesus, my Master and the Messiah, has had mercy on me. Jesus is in a good mood. He doesn’t hold me to account for missing God’s goal in my life (sin). Jesus, in his mercy, casts out the evil dwelling in me.
I was in a bad state. Some days I still am. Jesus cleans me up and sets me on the right way.
I must tell my story.
That is the challenge I have received from Jesus.
As Jesus was getting into the boat, the demon-delivered man begged to go along, but he wouldn’t let him. Jesus said, “Go home to your own people. Tell them your story—what the Master did, how he had mercy on you.” The man went back and began to preach in the Ten Towns area about what Jesus had done for him. He was the talk of the town.
Source: Mark 5:16-20
It is sad but religious people are consumed with “the rules”. Jesus knew it very well. He encountered it all the time.
Question to myself. Am I consumed about the rules and who is or isn’t following them?
I need to listen very close to Jesus. Jesus brings clarity to what is important. Am I on the side of Jesus or the religious leaders?
After that, Pharisees and religion scholars came to Jesus all the way from Jerusalem, criticizing, “Why do your disciples play fast and loose with the rules?” (Matthew 15:1-2)
Jesus requests that I be His light in this world. I have a mission to bring out the colors of God. I must shine like Jesus does.
I must obey Jesus and His command. He knows what I should do.
While I know that God is light, He also expects me to reflect His glory as well. I am to shine as a reflection of what He represents in the world. There is no hiding. There should be no darkness in my life.
“You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world.” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5:14-16 The Message)
What can I do to get right with God? Nothing. Nada. Zip. Not a single solitary thing.
I have the law of God. I know the result. I miss the goal God has for me non stop, every day. His goal for me doesn’t change. Yet, I keep missing it.
Jesus comes with Good News. He died for me, took the punishment on for breaking God’s law and for missing His goal for me. He delivers me from the burden of punishment. There is nothing I can do to earn it. Trying harder won’t cut it. It is gift.
God is God. There is nothing I can do to get right with him.
“There is only one way by which I can get right with God, and that is through the death of Jesus the Messiah. I must get rid of the underlying idea that I can ever be right with God because of my obedience. Who of us could ever obey God to absolute perfection!” ~~Oswald Chambers
Now, that is about me. It is not about God.
Jesus came that I might know God. Know him to the fullest. Know Him like God always intended. It is not about me. It is about Him.
Jesus demands that I be open and let everyone know the power of God.
God is God. God is in charge. Jesus is not hiding anything. At all.
“We’re not hiding things; we’re bringing everything out into the open.” Jesus (Luke 8)
Jesus expects me to proclaim the good news of the Message He has given me. I should be generous with what Jesus tells me.
Jesus is generous to me. Jesus demands that I be generous as well.
God is in charge of His country. He is generous with His message to me. He expects me to be the same.
Something to be careful of for sure.
So be careful that you don’t become misers of what you hear.” –Jesus (Luke 8 )
Perfect love brings me peace. The is no fear in His world. He is in charge and I can rest.
What a gift from our Father. His goal for me will be achieved. My enemy can’t touch me when I trust in Him.
So … I go to bed confident. God is God. God has put Jesus in charge of everything. I can be fearless.
I wake up rested and strong. I wake up fearless in Jesus, my Messiah.
I stretch myself out. I sleep. Then I’m up again—rested, tall and steady, fearless before the enemy mobs coming at me from all sides.” ~~King David (Psalm 3:5-6)
When Jesus was on the cross, redeeming me, he cried out it is finished. Here he tells the crowds, before that happened, that now was the time for judgement and how Satan would be driven out by His death.
What He said and did is very clear. It is not the future. It was taken care of and finished. Faith compels me to believe it. Not just “kind of” believe it but really believe it.
May I continue to experience His victory.
Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself. He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die. John 12:31-33
No. It can’t be done. God is God. I can’t make a fool of God but I can be a fool.
God operates under certain principles. It is essential, if you do A, you can expect B.
Paul wants me to let God’s Spirit work in my heart. That produces the results God wants, not the results I want.
That is the focus. Focus on love and obeying God. Focusing on God brings life that lasts forever.
Don’t be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds. All he’ll have to show for his life is weeds! But the one who plants in response to God, letting God’s Spirit do the growth work in him, harvests a crop of real life, eternal life. Galatians 6:7-8 MSG
Jesus directed a lot of comments to the religious scholars of the day. On this particular day they were upset Jesus’ disciples were breaking the Sabbath rules about not working. They were nit picking. Jesus saw right through this.
They had it all wrong. It wasn’t about rules and regulations. God’s love is expressed in His word. We need to get it.
It is all about loving God and loving everyone else I meet during the day. The law is love. It is here to serve us.
The final thing Jesus makes clear is that He is in charge. Period. End of story.
Jesus is God’s son and God alone has put Him in charge. That must be dealt with. No hiding from it.
The Sabbath was made to serve us; we weren’t made to serve the Sabbath. The Son of Man is no lackey to the Sabbath. He’s in charge!” ~~Jesus (Mark 2:25-28 The Message)
Somebody has to set up the chairs. In God’s world, it is not about who gets credit and gets to do the glamorous jobs.
Those who are last will be first. Being last is the attitude Jesus demands of me.
If we’re honest, we’ll admit that many of us prefer to be the one “on stage,” the one in the limelight, receiving the accolades and praise and attention, rather than the silent one in the background, setting up chairs so others can come and rest as they listen to God’s message. But if we truly believe we are all one Body, here to serve God and others, then setting up chairs at the women’s Bible study is just as vital as giving the keynote address at a national gathering. And caring for those who cannot care for themselves is a great privilege, bestowed upon us by the Creator of the Universe, the Author of Life.
–-by Kathi Macias
God doesn’t flip flop when He promises me something. God isn’t glib in His approach to what He says to me. God doesn’t waffle or waiver. Not at all. Not ever.
God is always faithful to His word. God is God. Jesus is his Son and in charge of God’s world.
May I be as true to my word as God is to His.
Are you now going to accuse me of being flip with my promises because it didn’t work out? Do you think I talk out of both sides of my mouth—a glib yes one moment, a glib no the next? Well, you’re wrong. I try to be as true to my word as God is to his. Our word to you wasn’t a careless yes canceled by an indifferent no. How could it be? When Silas and Timothy and I proclaimed the Son of God among you, did you pick up on any yes-and-no, on-again, off-again waffling? Wasn’t it a clean, strong Yes? 2 Corinthians 1:17-19
Jesus knows that there’s trouble ahead when you live only for the approval of others, saying what flatters them, doing what indulges them. Popularity contests are not truth contests.
Jesus challenges me to live and say the truth. He does not demand I be popular.
May I win the truth contest.
Your task is to be true, not popular.” ~~Jesus (Luke 6:26 The Message)
Training isn’t fun. I may look forward to it in a certain perverse way but it isn’t really fun. I endured training, in sports, because it was the only way I could play the game, which was the point of the training. I couldn’t get to the game without going through the training.
It could be cruel and what we endured is unusual. It is the training that makes us “mature players”. God’s goal for me is maturity. I need to grow up.
So it is with Jesus. I don’t get in the game unless I go through the training that Jesus has in mind for me.
But the training pays off. That is God’s way.
I must look for the training opportunities so I can learn ways of Jesus.
At the time, discipline isn’t much fun. It always feels like it’s going against the grain. Later, of course, it pays off handsomely, for it’s the well-trained who find themselves mature in their relationship with God. (Hebrews 12:11 The Message)
I don’t know about others, but I don’t like to ask for help. I don’t like to feel like I am putting others out of the way.
I like to “be in control.”
I am reflecting on whether this carries over into my relationship with God. He loves to helps like a father loves helping his children.
Real help comes from Jesus. I need to seek His solutions, not mine.
His blessing is all I need. It clothes me in His eternal glory. He is good all the time.
May I look for the help that comes from God.
Real help comes from God. Your blessing clothes your people! Psalm 3:8
God created a world where one thing leads to another. It is not always immediate but eventually planting will produce a crop.
The reverse is also important wisdom. If I don’t do something, nothing is going to happen. Zip, Zilch, Nada, nothing.
There is wisdom in being industrious and not lazy.
God is God. His ways are firm and I can’t change them.
May I plant the right seeds to produce a great harvest.
May I be patient to wait on the results
A farmer too lazy to plant in the spring has nothing to harvest in the fall. ” ~~King Solomon (Proverbs 20:4)
My dad had a saying that summed this up pretty good. “Good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise”.
That is what God wants and there is a lot out of my control. This is a hard to get some days. It takes faith and supernatural courage. It is all about what God wants and not what I plan.
Now I love to plan and I love to be spontaneous. But either way, I don’t know what our Master has in mind for tomorrow.
Jesus taught us to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread”. I can know what he wants me to do right now. Tomorrow is a whole different story.
So what James has to say is radical. Jesus was radical and James knew it first hand from him.
Do I know what to do? Do I do it? If not, why not?
May I be thankful for today’s bread!
May I press in to know Him better.
And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, ‘Today—at the latest, tomorrow—we’re off to such and such a city for the year. We’re going to start a business and make a lot of money.’ You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Instead, make it a habit to say, ‘If the Master wills it and we’re still alive, we’ll do this or that.’ As it is, you are full of your grandiose selves. All such vaunting self-importance is evil. In fact, if you know the right thing to do and don’t do it, that, for you, is evil. James 4
Many people do things in the name of Jesus. They may not be a part of “our group” or our Church.
I need to be careful. Someone who performs the work of God in the name of Jesus is not an enemy. God’s country is not divided against itself.
God is God. God will judge. Good work in the name of Jesus is not my concern.
I have an enemy. His work is clear.
They started arguing over which of them would be most famous. When Jesus realized how much this mattered to them, he brought a child to his side. “Whoever accepts this child as if the child were me, accepts me,” he said. “And whoever accepts me, accepts the One who sent me. You become great by accepting, not asserting. Your spirit, not your size, makes the difference.”
John spoke up, “Master, we saw a man using your name to expel demons and we stopped him because he wasn’t of our group.”
Jesus said, “Don’t stop him. If he’s not an enemy, he’s an ally.
Source: Luke 9:46 – 50
Our leaders don’t always get it. They plot, the connive, they think they are in control. They defy God and think they are free from Jesus.
God has shut them up. Jesus came and established His rule and authority. God’s world and government has triumphed the present world order.
Nothing is impossible for Jesus, the Messiah. Jesus is in control. Jesus has been inaugurated already. Jesus has already won the victory.
Why the big noise, nations? Why the mean plots, peoples?
Earth-leaders push for position,
Demagogues and delegates meet for summit talks,
The God-deniers, the Messiah-defiers:
“Let’s get free of God!
Cast loose from Messiah!”
Heaven-throned God breaks out laughing.
At first he’s amused at their presumption;
Then he gets good and angry.
Furiously, he shuts them up:
“Don’t you know there’s a King in Zion? A coronation banquet
Is spread for him on the holy summit.”
So, I can kiss everything else goodbye if I want to follow Jesus. Is something near and dear to me? Am I ready to give it up? Will I kiss it goodbye? That is what Jesus is challenging me to do. Will I do it?
Yes, I heard it right. Jesus said it and Jesus meant it.
Simply put, if you’re not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it good-bye, you can’t be my disciple.” Luke 14
Jesus, as Son, has the most special relationship with the Father. As Son, the Father says to Jesus, you are God. You are in control of my government for good. No one will ever take your place. Now Satan, an angel, thought he could be in control. God has put an end to that nonsense.
Jesus’ victory has made that clear. God just loves it when things are put right. And He hates it when things are out of whack. And so God is VERY happy.
Jesus started it all. He laid the earth’s very foundations. And He will finish it all.
How special is Jesus? God has never said to anyone, any created being, sit here next to me. He has given Jesus the place of honor. He is charge (King) of God’s country and government (Kingdom). That is the new plan. God has replaced the crown of thorns with one of gold.
So this is something we can count on. Jesus is the Son. Everything has been put in His control in God’s country. We are citizens AND children of His country. All is well.
99 out of 100 things I worry about never happen.
And yet, I continue to be afraid.
Jesus is ever present letting me know that I need to take courage.
He says “It is I”. He is here. Do I hear Jesus? He says “Don’t be afraid”. Do I hear Him?
He gives me courage in His world. His world is here and now.
On earth, as it is in heaven right now.
Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” ~Jesus (Mark 6:50)
May I take courage.
May I have courage.
May I hear Jesus.
I don’t want to be condemned. No way, no how.
I want to live in freedom. I don’t want that guilt in my life.
And so, God says over and over in His message of good news to me. I am free from all the things I have done that miss His goal for me.
I need to reflect Jesus love and freedom to others and eliminate criticism and judgement from my ways. I am not to judge, period. Jesus is clear on that.
God is God. God is in charge. God will judge me. I must take advantage of his mercy every day. No way around that.
Those people are on a dark spiral downward. But if you think that leaves you on the high ground where you can point your finger at others, think again. Every time you criticize someone, you condemn yourself. It takes one to know one. Judgmental criticism of others is a well-known way of escaping detection in your own crimes and misdemeanors. But God isn’t so easily diverted. He sees right through all such smoke screens and holds you to what you’ve done. Romans 2:1-2
May I live free from judgmental criticism.
Who is Jesus? The very Son of God who, as man, died for us and is now resurrected. But in His resurrection, God has put Him in charge of everything. Nothing is exempt at all. Not a single thing.
So, how long will he be in charge? Imagine billions and billions of years. Imagine it never ending.
That is hard to get my mind around some days because this is a world where things come to an end. In Jesus, who is in charge of everything forever, I live and have the same life.
This is His gift to me.
God is God. He is in charge. He has given all authority to His Son Jesus, our Master. He is the Messiah.
All this energy issues from the Messiah: God raised him from death and set him on a throne in deep heaven, in charge of running the universe, everything from galaxies to governments, no name and no power exempt from his rule. And not just for the time being, but forever. He is in charge of it all, has the final word on everything. At the center of all this, the Messiah rules the church. The church, you see, is not peripheral to the world; the world is peripheral to the church. The church is the Messiah’s body, in which he speaks and acts, by which he fills everything with his presence. ~~Ephesians 1:20
How many times have I heard someone say “I’m spiritual but not religious”?
Way too many probably.
It is nice to have some insight from the Barna Group about what is behind this saying.
I’m spiritual but not religious.” You’ve heard it—maybe even said it—before. But what does it actually mean? Can you be one without the other? Once synonymous, “religious” and “spiritual” have now come to describe seemingly distinct (but sometimes overlapping) domains of human activity. The twin cultural trends of deinstitutionalization and individualism have, for many, moved spiritual practice away from the public rituals of institutional Christianity to the private experience of God within. In this conclusion of a two-part series on faith outside the church (read the first part, on those who “love Jesus but not the church”), Barna takes a close look at the segment of the American population who are “spiritual but not religious.” Who are they? What do they believe? How do they live out their spirituality daily?
Jesus, God’s son, loves and never stops loving. He is loyal and faithful to us all.
God is God. There are none others. Not money or credit cards or 401k’s can save us from missing God’s goal for our lives.
Jesus, the Messiah, alone is worthy of our faith and love.
So, let’s shout it out!!
Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful songs.
Know that the LORD is God.
It is he who made us, and we are his;
we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
Enter his gates with thanksgiving
and his courts with praise;
give thanks to him and praise his name.
For the LORD is good and his love endures forever;
his faithfulness continues through all generations.
What does our God delight in? He delights in impossibilities. What does God say? Nothing is too difficult for me.
Nothing is too hard for God. Nothing is impossible to Him.
I know God and He delights in impossibilities. He always asks “Is anything too hard for me?”
And of course nothing is impossible for him.
How do I get things done in God’s world? What makes the difference? Does it happen if I am just strong and force my way through life?
Not in God’s world. It happens by His spirit. The victory belongs to Him no matter how much I plan and get ready.
That is the lesson of Jesus. He just did what He saw His Father doing. Sometimes I get confused thinking I should be able to do it all by myself and then get the credit.
My victory is in Jesus. That is the only way to get it done and please God, our Father.
May I know in the depths of my heart that it is God who is the source of accomplishments.
He said to me, ‘This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. Zechariah 4:6
It is a critical question. I don’t want to be “enemy focused” but I need to know I have one. He couldn’t prevail against the archangel Michael. He couldn’t prevail against Jesus. He can’t prevail against me.
It would be dangerous, however, to pretend he doesn’t exist and that I don’t need to be prepared.
I need to be prepared. I am at war.
Every story has a villain because yours does. You were born into a world at war.
When Satan lost the battle against Michael and his angels, “he was hurled to the earth, and his angels with him” (Rev. 12:9). That means that right now, on this earth, there are hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of fallen angels, foul spirits, bent on our destruction. And what is Satan’s mood?
“He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short” (v. 12). So what does he spend every day and every night of his sleepless, untiring existence doing?
“Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to make war against . . . those who obey God’s commandments and hold to the testimony of Jesus” (v. 17). He has you in his crosshairs, and he isn’t smiling.
Just look at the totality of what He did and does. He is entirely focused on what His Father, God, wants Him to do. And Jesus does it. And it is amazing.
That is the only witness that Jesus needs. Jesus completed everything God gave him to do. And Jesus is still doing it today.
May we turn to Jesus, obey him and be complete.
But the witness that really confirms me far exceeds John’s witness. It’s the work the Father gave me to complete.” ~~Jesus (John 5:34-38 The Message)
If it doesn’t happen, then something is wrong. I can count on it.
Author and counselor Sara Dormon believes it’s time for Christians to collectively take Jesus more seriously, arguing in an interview with “The Church Boys” podcast that she believes many faithful have simply become too complacent.
Dormon, who recently released a book titled, “If You’re a Christian and Everyone Likes You…Something’s Wrong,” also said she believes Christians are too willing to compromise their beliefs, and that they often allow themselves to be known more for what they oppose than for what they’re for.
“I would rather honor God and be loved by God than be loved by man, and I think that’s the mess we’ve fallen into as Christians,” Dormon said. “We’ve learned to compromise our faith, we’ve learned to not rock the boat…don’t step on toes.”
So, the author essentially advocates a balanced approach: embracing one’s truth and faith while simultaneously showing love for others. This is the very topic she covers in the book — a six-year project that started as mere journal entries after a personal crisis of faith.
The power of Jesus is in me. I need to ask for more. If I think God wants to comfort a dear friend who is sick, why don’t I ask Him to completely heal them? If I think a family member needs salvation, why don’t I ask for complete deliverance?
May I expand my view to the possibilities that my all powerful God can do and not what I am willing to settle for.
God is God and God is great.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:20-21
Sometimes there is a pain that our Spirit filled life brings to others. Sometimes the timing is off.
Better to show up when God wants me to and not just because someone asked me to.
I must seek God. He will lead the way for me.
That’s why I decided not to make another visit that could only be painful to both of us. If by merely showing up I would put you in an embarrassingly painful position, how would you then be free to cheer and refresh me? 2 Corinthians 2:1-2
There is a striving for “things” that is not natural in God’s world. Being content is a huge thing.
It takes a supernatural courage from God to believe He is in control and that I have all I need. Godliness with contentment. Hmmm!! That is what I want.
In His world, I have all His riches. I don’t need the riches of this world. His new plan gives me all that I need in Him.
There is a way that leads to destruction. I will choose His way that leads to contentment and peace.
But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. 1 Timothy 6:6-10 TNIV Bible
Our culture believes that success is the “lack of hard times”. Jesus led the way. His suffering led to my salvation and healing and so it is true for me too.
We all share in the good and tough times in Jesus. None of us are immune and why should we be?
Jesus did it for me and I must share in it together with Jesus.
That is a sign of my maturity that I know that nothing can separate me from God’s love.
No matter what happens. When I exhibit this attitude, it shows that I am going to make it. Without the willingness to endure the tough times, I would never know.
May I be unflinching in growing in Jesus.
When we suffer for Jesus, it works out for your healing and salvation. If we are treated well, given a helping hand and encouraging word, that also works to your benefit, spurring you on, face forward, unflinching. Your hard times are also our hard times. When we see that you’re just as willing to endure the hard times as to enjoy the good times, we know you’re going to make it, no doubt about it. 2 Corinthians 1:6-7
That led Him to do what He saw His Father doing. Many things I say are pretty careless. I don’t think. I say things that hurt others. Sometimes I actually do it on purpose.
There is an accounting for what I say. There will come a time when I have to give an account of what I have said. I should spend more time talking about the way of God. That is what I want to be accountable for.
May I say what I hear God saying. May I speak the truth.
I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. Matthew 12:36-37
God’s way is the way of integrity. God sent Jesus to show me what integrity looks like. Now I know.
It is core to who Jesus is and it is core to who Jesus wants me to be.
The question I ask myself is “What does God want me to do?”
The answer is the answer of integrity. Anything else leads to my ruin.
The integrity of the honest keeps them on track; the deviousness of crooks brings them to ruin..” ~~King Solomon (Proverbs 11:3)
Jesus redeems me. Jesus saves me. Jesus heals me. Jesus restores me. I will speak of His great and mighty work.
God is God – He is in control. He has always been and always will be.
This is not a democracy. Democracies are a good form of government but God’s government is not a democracy. God has given all authority to his son Jesus and His way of doing things is what is important. The way He does it in heaven is the way we want it done here on earth.
God is good – He is always good. He is perpetually in a good mood.
Jesus is not upset with me. I am God’s child and He is doing so many good things for me. We are His friends and He will do anything it takes to help us out. We are His bride and His love for us is passionate beyond imagination.
How often do I keep quiet when I should say what I believe? Too often I think.
If I believe in a God so powerful that He raised Jesus from the dead, what should I say in any given circumstance? Really, what should I say about my belief? I must say that Jesus is willing and able.
Well, if I believe that nothing is impossible with God I can’t be quiet.
I have to say the truth no matter how “bad” things look. God is God. He wants to deliver.
I must have faith and believe. If I do, Jesus will come through no matter what.
We’re not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote, “I believed it, so I said it,” we say what we believe. And what we believe is that the One who raised up the Master Jesus will just as certainly raise us up with you, alive. Every detail works to your advantage and to God’s glory: more and more grace, more and more people, more and more praise! 2 Corinthians 4:13-15
You ask how that can be since you are a virgin. The angel lets you know that the Spirit of God will make it happen AND nothing is impossible with God. NOTHING. Not a thing. EVERYTHING is possible.
This word of God has been challenging my heart and soul lately. I know I have had things I didn’t believe Jesus could do.
I am leaning in to hear the word of our Father. If he says it, I can count on it. Nothing is impossible.
So here is the deal. When the Angel said nothing is impossible, Mary said, “I am the LORD’s servant. May it be to me as you have said.”
Then a little while later Elizabeth (John the Baptist’s mother) said “Happy woman, who believed what God said, believed every word would come true!”
May I have faith to believe our LORD. Nothing is impossible.
For nothing is impossible with God. Luke 1:37
The man believed Jesus could heal him. His friends believed it so much that when they couldn’t get in the front entrance, they removed part of the roof and lowered the paraplegic on his stretcher. Now that got Jesus attention.
After all this, Jesus has one more thing he wants the man to do. He allows the man an opportunity to demonstrate his faith. And he does.
And he walks out of there.
And those who doubted Jesus rubbed their eyes. They found it hard to believe.
May I have faith like that. May I listen to Jesus and obey.
Get up. Pick up your stretcher and go home.” And the man did it—got up, grabbed his stretcher, and walked out, with everyone there watching him. They rubbed their eyes, incredulous—and then praised God, saying, “We’ve never seen anything like this!
We must know that we are at war with the Devil. We would like to think that is not true but it is. It is a fact.
Our Master Jesus has given us everything we need. We have the best weapons possible. There is nothing shoddy about them at all.
All we have to do is put them to use. It is a big mistake to think we don’t need them.
We do need GOD. We need to prepare daily for the war. We are at war. This is for keeps.
So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the Devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the Devil and all his angels. Ephesians 6:10-12
Jesus loves the word of God. He also knows the legalism can be taken to the extreme.
I certainly have legal “rights” that I can insist on being fulfilled. Jesus also gives me the option to pursue love. His challenge to me is to pursue love and not “my rights”.
Jesus summarizes God’s Law up as 2 essential requirements. Love God and love everyone I come in contact with every day. Jesus demands that I focus on those two requirements.That is the essence of things in God’s world. That is His law.
Legalism isn’t going to get Me anywhere. End of story.
An ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere?” ~~Jesus (Matthew 5:38-42 The Message)
I admit that I am not very creative when it comes to painting, sculpting, etc. I do enjoy hand blown glass and have seen pottery made.
Everything done is in the hands of the artist. He is in control. The clay has no say in what the outcome is.
And so, God is shaping me as seems best to Him. I may not always understand it but that is the way Jesus works. He is the creator. He is God.
This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD : “Go down to the potter’s house, and there I will give you my message.” So I went down to the potter’s house, and I saw him working at the wheel. But the pot he was shaping from the clay was marred in his hands; so the potter formed it into another pot, shaping it as seemed best to him. Then the word of the LORD came to me: “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?” declares the LORD. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel.” Jeremiah 18:1-6
May I open myself to what He sees is best for me.