Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Graduation Day!

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Jesus asked a third time, "Simon son of John, do you love me?" Peter was hurt because Jesus had asked him three times if he loved him. So he told Jesus, "Lord, you know everything. You know I love you." Jesus replied, "Feed my sheep."   I tell you for certain that when you were a young man, you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will hold out your hands. Then others will wrap your belt around you and lead you where you don't want to go."  Jesus said this to tell how Peter would die and bring honor to God. Then he said to Peter, "Follow me!"   Peter turned and saw Jesus' favorite disciple following them. He was the same one who had sat next to Jesus at the meal and had asked, "Lord, who is going to betray you?"  When Peter saw that disciple, he asked Jesus, "Lord, what about him?"  Jesus answered, "What is it to you, if I want him to live until I return? You must follow me."

John 21 : 17 - 22

Jesus told Peter the difficult truth about how his life would be as he neared the end of his time on earth.  Peter responded by pointing out Jesus’ favorite disciple and asking “What about him?”

Every follower of Jesus has a different set of sufferings that he or she will have to endure as they walk toward the end of life.  As you encounter the problems of life, it is easy to be just like Peter and ask God “What about him?”   Other followers of Jesus may seem to have less troubles and a much easier “Cross to bear,” but your job is to follow Jesus and not compare your sufferings with others! 

It is comforting to know that Jesus knows how your life on earth will end, and He knows when it will happen!  As a follower of Jesus, your life is absolutely written is His Book and He knows what will happen for every day that you have left here.

And He knows when you will transition from earth to Glory and come into His Holy Presence!  From the perspective of this earth that day may seem to be a  day of tragedy, but from the Throne Room of Heaven the day of your death is Graduation Day!

As Jesus told Peter, your job is to follow Jesus for every minute of your life until the day He takes you Home! 

“Lord Jesus, I know that You know when and how I will leave this earth, I also know that You have promised to be with me always until that day comes!  And when it comes, You have promised that You will be with me Forever!  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.   Amen.”

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Glory Burst of Power!

Judas had promised to betray Jesus. So he went to the garden with some Roman soldiers and temple police, who had been sent by the chief priests and the Pharisees. They carried torches, lanterns, and weapons. Jesus already knew everything that was going to happen, but he asked, "Who are you looking for?" They answered, "We are looking for Jesus from Nazareth!" Jesus told them, "I am Jesus!"  At once they all backed away and fell to the ground.  Jesus again asked, "Who are you looking for?" "We are looking for Jesus from Nazareth," they answered.  This time Jesus replied, "I have already told you that I am Jesus. If I am the one you are looking for, let these others go.  Then everything will happen, just as I said, 'I did not lose anyone you gave me.' "  Simon Peter had brought along a sword. He now pulled it out and struck at the servant of the high priest. The servant's name was Malchus, and Peter cut off his right ear.  Jesus told Peter, "Put your sword away. I must drink from the cup that the Father has given me."

John 18: 3 - 11

Why did the first confession of Jesus cause even the soldiers who came to arrest Him to back up and fall to the ground?  The Bible does not state the reason, but it is clear that Jesus unleashed a small burst of His Almighty Power on the crowd that came to take Him into custody.  

Then Jesus asked them again who they were looking for and quietly allowed them to arrest Him.  Peter, however tried to stop them by cutting off the ear of the High Priest’s servant Malchus.  Then Jesus told Peter to put away the sword because this “Cup” was given to Him by the Father, not by angry men!

Perhaps it would be accurate to say that the Glory of God knocked the soldiers to the ground when Jesus acknowledged who He was, and the Love of Mankind motivated Jesus to surrender to those who would Crucify Him!  

The lesson for me is this: When the world comes to take me to a cross, it is very Christlike to let them feel the full power of God’s Glory.  But is also like Jesus to put away the sword and drink the cup of suffering that God has ordered for my life!  

“Lord Jesus, may Your Almighty Power be evident to those who would persecute me, but give me the strength to put away the sword and suffer as You did!  May Your Name be praised now and forever.  Amen.”

Monday, June 18, 2018

Who is Jesus?

"I am the way, the truth, and the life!" Jesus answered. "Without me, no one can go to the Father.  If you had known me, you would have known the Father. But from now on, you do know him, and you have seen him."  Philip said, "Lord, show us the Father. That is all we need."  Jesus replied: Philip, I have been with you for a long time. Don't you know who I am? If you have seen me, you have seen the Father. How can you ask me to show you the Father?  Don't you believe that I am one with the Father and that the Father is one with me? What I say isn't said on my own. The Father who lives in me does these things.

John 14: 6 - 10

Jesus was the daily companion of the disciples for the three years He walked with them.  As a human being they knew Him better than anyone, and yet they did not grasp who He really was!  The disciples did not realize that when they looked at the face of Jesus they were looking at God Himself!  

God is One and God is Three!  God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit make up the fullness of God.  It is easy for us to forget, just as the disciples did that when you come to know Jesus you are experiencing a relationship with God Himself!  

Jesus reminded the disciples that the Father lived in Him!  The Bible also says to followers of Jesus that, Christ lives in you, and he is your hope of sharing in God's glory. (Colossians 1:27)

So when you “come to Jesus” and give yourself to Him there is much more that takes place than a simple decision to be a disciple.  You are opening up your heart to be possessed by the Holy Spirit and have Christ Himself live in you!  Then the Hope that you have will be that you will share in God’s Glory forever!  

And you are right when you say, “I don’t understand it, but I believe every Word that God has spoken!”

“Lord Jesus, may I see a little more today of who You really are, and how You want me to live.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen.”

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Thank You for the Sugar!

After the stone had been rolled aside, Jesus looked up toward heaven and prayed, "Father, I thank you for answering my prayer.  I know that you always answer my prayers. But I said this, so that the people here would believe that you sent me."  When Jesus had finished praying, he shouted, "Lazarus, come out!"  The man who had been dead came out. His hands and feet were wrapped with strips of burial cloth, and a cloth covered his face. Jesus then told the people, "Untie him and let him go."  Many of the people who had come to visit Mary saw the things that Jesus did, and they put their faith in him.  Others went to the Pharisees and told what Jesus had done.  Then the chief priests and the Pharisees called the council together and said, "What should we do? This man is working a lot of miracles.  If we don't stop him now, everyone will put their faith in him.

John 11: 41 - 48a

Many years ago I was sitting at the dinner table across from my grandmother.  She looked at me and said, “Thank you for the sugar, Bill.”  It was a simple statement with a profound life implication.  I answered with the words, “Why do you thank me for the sugar before I give it to you?”  My wise and dear grandmother replied, “I thank you for it before you give it to me, because I know you will!”

That is the same reason Jesus thanked God for answering His prayer for the resurrection of Lazarus before it happened.  Jesus even went on to proclaim that the Father “always” answers His prayers.  

Do you thank God for answering your prayers before you bring your requests to Him?  Or do you approach the Throne of God wondering if the thing you desire from Him might, possibly be something that He would agree to answer with a positive response?  If that is how you pray, then consider the fact you are not praying like Jesus did!  Jesus knew the Father well enough to know how He would answer.  

When you pray according to the Will of God, you can know in advance that He will answer your prayer!  So, as you read the Bible, not only look for ways you can be obedient to that Word, but also search for the Truth about what God desires.  When you pray according to His desire, you can know for certain that He will answer your prayer!  

“Lord Jesus, teach me to pray as You did.  And I thank You Jesus for answering this prayer!  May Your Holy Name be praised now and forever.  Amen.” 

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Blinded by the Light

The LORD rules the whole earth, and he is more glorious than all the false gods.  Love the LORD and hate evil! God protects his loyal people and rescues them from violence.  If you obey and do right, a light will show you the way and fill you with happiness.  You are the LORD's people! So celebrate and praise the only God.

Psalm 97: 9 - 12

Once again Jesus spoke to the people. This time he said, "I am the light for the world! Follow me, and you won't be walking in the dark. You will have the light that gives life."

John 8: 12

The light that shows you the way in the darkness of this world is Jesus Christ!  You may hear stories about a light at the other end of a tunnel of darkness!  If you are a Jesus follower the "Light" is with you always, so how could it be at the end of a tunnel?  

I have a small flashlight that is extremely bright.  The LED technology surpasses all the other systems by far.  With that light I can see a long way, even in total darkness!  But that same light can be dangerous if I look directly into it's beam.  The light that can show me the way can also blind me!  

The same is true of Jesus!  When Jesus is with you, or perhaps more accurately when you are with Jesus then His light will illuminate everything around you.  You will see things that others do not and really cannot see.  But if you approach the Lord without faith in Jesus, the Light that always shines from Him will blind you and confuse you!  

So if you follow Jesus, His light will show you everything.  But if you fight the Lord, His light will blind your eyes and your understanding will be darkened.  

Know this for certain: If you come to Jesus with Faith in Him, you will be blessed and you will see clearly the world around you.  But if you come to Jesus to oppose Him you will be blinded by His light until you yield your heart to Him.  

"Lord Jesus, I come to You to trust You in everything.  May I never set my will up against Yours.  Thank You Jesus for being the light that shows me all things.  Praise Your Holy Name now and forever.  Amen."

Friday, June 15, 2018

Mention His Majesty!

Sing a new song to the LORD! Everyone on this earth, sing praises to the LORD,  sing and praise his name. Day after day announce, "The LORD has saved us!"  Tell every nation on earth, "The LORD is wonderful and does marvelous things!  The LORD is great and deserves our greatest praise! He is the only God worthy of our worship.  Other nations worship idols, but the LORD created the heavens.  Give honor and praise to the LORD, whose power and beauty fill his holy temple."  Tell everyone of every nation, "Praise the glorious power of the LORD.

Psalm 96: 1 - 7

Those who choose not to believe in God and yet are avid students of nature and even the heavens must develop an alternative to God!  To explain the origins of the most intricate, amazing, organized and interdependent universe imaginable without a Creator reveals a bias against the concept of God, not any proof that He doesn’t exist.

When you look at the world around you, there is nothing but evidence of God!  You can see God in the cycles of life in nature and in the death and resurrection pictured in the seasons of the year.  

The reason men can so easily believe that they are the highest form of life, is that they were created in the image of the One who is the Highest and Greatest of all!  After believing this deception they dream up all kinds of foolish assumptions designed by Satan to separate them from the One they deny!

Those who choose to believe in God must spend their time seeing the greatness of God around them and praising Him.  Tell everyone how Great He is and make it your goal to mention His Majesty in every conversation you have today!

“Lord Jesus, thank you for Creating me in the image of God!  May everyone who lives on earth Praise Your Holy Name, now and forever.  Amen.”

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Protection From God

Live under the protection of God Most High and stay in the shadow of God All-Powerful.  Then you will say to the LORD, "You are my fortress, my place of safety; you are my God, and I trust you."

Psalm 91: 1 - 2

Security companies don’t hide their identity.  “Protected by” is the phrase often seen on doors, buildings, and even front yards of people who get service from one of the many world wide security organizations.  

If you are a follower of Jesus Christ, you should have a sign on your life and heart that says, “Protected by God Most High!”  

With God as your personal body guard you can be sure that any trouble that comes your way has first passed through His wall of protection that is built around you!  And you do not know how many agents of Satan were pummeled in their attempts to harm you and those you love!  

Certainly, we as followers of Jesus are in a fight that is sometimes intense, but always remember that Satan cannot have access to your life without first being allowed through the shield that God has put around you!  If the Devil had unfettered access to Christians, they would all be dead before they took the next breath after accepting Jesus!

So you can rest in the Peace of knowing that you are under the Shadow of God All-Powerful which is your “Place of Safety!”  God wants your life to declare to everyone that you are Protected by God and His Mighty Power!  

“Lord Jesus, thank You for guarding my life against the destruction that Satan would bring to me, if he could!  May Your Name, Jesus be praised now and forever.  Amen.”