God’s NOT Dead!

God’s Not Dead , is a very good overtly Christian themed movie that would be great for every teenage Christian to go see as many will face the same type of challenges to their faith as they transition into adulthood, most being away from home for the first time at college. How would you respond if faced with the same test to your faith?

Romans 1 (NKJV)

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

helix nebula

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

As in this movie, sometimes challenges to our faith comes from those close to us, from family or friends that perhaps feel they are helping us or know what’s best for us but ultimately God knows best!

In the book of Job, Job’s friends stop by in an effort to “comfort” him. After a while of their comforting, Job becomes indignant and in his defense to them is a bit self-righteous. God then shows up and has about four chapters worth of questions for Job. God’s first question to Job always comes to my mind when I read or hear theories as to how everything came into existence without God receiving credit for it. 

Question – “Where were you when I (God) created everything?” Answer – You were not there. And since you were not there, you don’t know, you are speaking from ignorance.

Job 38 (NKJV)

1 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said:

“Who is this who darkens counsel
By words without knowledge?
Now prepare yourself like a man;
I will question you, and you shall answer Me.

“Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth?
Tell Me, if you have understanding.

……….

Job 42 (NKJV)

42 Then Job answered the Lord and said:

“I know that You can do everything,
And that no purpose of Yours can be withheld from You.
You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
Listen, please, and let me speak;
You said, ‘I will question you, and you shall answer Me.’

“I have heard of You by the hearing of the ear,
But now my eye sees You.
Therefore I abhor myself,
And repent in dust and ashes.”

Job’s faith was tested more than almost any person recorded in the Bible, his faith and patience are legendary but even he was humbled by God for his prideful speech. When facing challenges to our faith, we have to be careful of self-righteousness.

If your faith is not strong enough to withstand verbal assaults or intellectual scrutiny of scoffers, would it be strong enough to withstand threats of physical violence or possible death? Adrian Rogers  said “A faith that cannot be tested, cannot be trusted.”

Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV)

 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

At some point it comes down to faith, the Christian believes(has faith) that God exists and that His Word is true; the unbelieving has faith(believes) that God does not exist and that the Bible is a fairytale. Will your faith save you?

~God Bless!

Abundant Life

How would you describe your life? Is it everything you hoped and imagined it would be?

John 10:10
…I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.(NKJV)

…I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).(AMP)

…I have come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness.(GNT)

…I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.(MSG)

…I have come that they may have life,and have it to the full.(NIV)

…My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.(NLT)

Are you living a full, abundant life or would you describe it more like a piece of driftwood floating down the river of life? If you are not experiencing the abundant life Jesus promised, why aren’t you?

John 5:
37 And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen,38 and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent. 39 You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, 40 yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.(ESV)

Maybe it’s time to come to Jesus.

Forgiveness Is A Hug

 the-prodigal-son

The Parable Of The Forgiving Father

Luke 15:
11 And he said, “There was a man who had two sons. 12 And the younger of them said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of property that is coming to me.’ And he divided his property between them. 13 Not many days later, the younger son gathered all he had and took a journey into a far country, and there he squandered his property in reckless living. 14 And when he had spent everything, a severe famine arose in that country, and he began to be in need. 15 So he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, who sent him into his fields to feed pigs. 16 And he was longing to be fed with the pods that the pigs ate, and no one gave him anything.

17 “But when he came to himself, he said, ‘How many of my father’s hired servants have more than enough bread, but I perish here with hunger! 18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. 19 I am no longer worthy to be called your son. Treat me as one of your hired servants.”’ 20 And he arose and came to his father. But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and felt compassion, and ran and embraced him and kissed him. 21 And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ 22 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. 23 And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. 24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate.

25 “Now his older son was in the field, and as he came and drew near to the house, he heard music and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said to him, ‘Your brother has come, and your father has killed the fattened calf, because he has received him back safe and sound.’ 28 But he was angry and refused to go in. His father came out and entreated him, 29 but he answered his father, ‘Look, these many years I have served you, and I never disobeyed your command, yet you never gave me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends. 30 But when this son of yours came, who has devoured your property with prostitutes, you killed the fattened calf for him!’ 31 And he said to him, ‘Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. 32 It was fitting to celebrate and be glad, for this your brother was dead, and is alive; he was lost, and is found.’”(ESV)

The father received his wayward son with an exuberant, rejoiceful, reconciliatory embrace but the older brother refused to enter the same house as his younger brother. True forgiveness is demonstrated by a hug!

Luke 15:
Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

10 Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”(ESV)

The Lord’s Prayer

Matthew 6:
After this manner therefore pray ye:
Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
10 Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
11 Give us this day our daily bread.
12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.(KJV)

Are you holding a grudge? It’s probably time to let that past offense go. Life is short and time is running out, seek reconciliation and forgiveness. You’re never more like God the Father than when you forgive someone their trespasses against you.

~God Bless

Discipline Is Not A Four Letter Word

What comes to mind when you hear the word discipline?

Is it positive or negative?

Why?

Most people consider discipline as something negative and I suppose it is at the time the discipline is occurring. It may come from childhood when your parents disciplined you for bad or undesirable behavior but does that make discipline a bad thing? If you think of people that are “disciplined”, who comes to mind? Athletes that train for years for competition, members of the military that prepare for combat, bodybuilders that follow a strict diet and exercise regimen, doctors and lawyers that spend 8, 10, 12 years or more in school and training.

Deuteronomy 8:
Know then in your heart that, as a man disciplines his son, the Lord your God disciplines you. So you shall keep the commandments of the Lord your God by walking in his ways and by fearing him.(ESV)

Job 5:
17 “Behold, blessed is the one whom God reproves; therefore despise not the discipline of the Almighty. 18 For he wounds, but he binds up; he shatters, but his hands heal.(ESV)

Psalm 50:
16 But to the wicked God says: “What right have you to recite my statutes or take my covenant on your lips? 17 For you hate discipline, and you cast my words behind you.(ESV)

Proverbs 3:
11 My son, do not despise the Lord’s discipline or be weary of his reproof, 12 for the Lord reproves him whom he loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.(ESV)

Proverbs 5:
22 The iniquities of the wicked ensnare him, and he is held fast in the cords of his sin. 23 He dies for lack of discipline, and because of his great folly he is led astray.(ESV)

Proverbs 6:
20 My son, keep your father’s commandment, and forsake not your mother’s teaching. 21 Bind them on your heart always; tie them around your neck. 22 When you walk, they will lead you; when you lie down, they will watch over  you; and when you awake, they will talk with you. 23 For the commandment is a lamp and the teaching a light, and the reproofs of discipline are the way of life, 24 to preserve you from the evil woman, from the smooth tongue of the adulteress.(ESV)

Proverbs 12:
Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but he who hates reproof is stupid.(ESV)

Proverbs 13:
24 Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.(ESV)

Proverbs 15:
The way of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord, but he loves him who pursues righteousness. 10 There is severe discipline for him who forsakes the way; whoever hates reproof will die.(ESV)

1 Corinthians 9:
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. 25 Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. 26 So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air.27 But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.(ESV)

Ephesian 6:
Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.(ESV)

Hebrews 12:
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you forgotten the exhortation that addresses you as sons?

“My son, do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord, nor be weary when reproved by him.
For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives.”

It is for discipline that you have to endure. God is treating you as sons. For what son is there whom his father does not disciplineIf you are left without discipline, in which all have participated, then you are illegitimate children and not sons. Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. 11 For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.(ESV)

Discipline is not enjoyable at the time but we all know it is important to anyone desiring to live a happy, successful life – here and now and in the here after. Learn discipline from the Lord, allow Him to sand off the rough edges in your life to reap the blessings He has for you.

~God Bless

Words Are Powerful

At our Thursday morning prayer and accountability group meeting, there were some pretty big words being thrown around the other day – plethora, diligence, awful (in the best sense of the word), cornucopia. I like the word cornucopia, you don’t hear it used a lot. Reminds me of a word W.C. Fields might use, he was quite the wordsmith.

Words are powerful. Words can build up or they can tear down. Words can heal or they can destroy. Death and life are in the power of the tongue. Do you remember the last time someone gave you an encouraging word? Instantly made you feel good didn’t it? How about something someone said hurtful years ago? You can probably still remember negative comments from childhood.

Psalm 34:
12 What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good? 13 Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.14 Turn away from evil and do good;seek peace and pursue it.(ESV)

Proverbs 15:
A gentle tongue is a tree of lifebut perverseness in it breaks the spirit.(ESV)

Proverbs 18:
20 From the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach is satisfied; he is satisfied by the yield of his lips.21 Death and life are in the power of the tongue,and those who love it will eat its fruits.(ESV)

James 3:
Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For we all stumble in many ways. And if anyone does not stumble in what he says, he is a perfect man, able also to bridle his whole body.If we put bits into the mouths of horses so that they obey us, we guide their whole bodies as well. Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things.How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. 10 From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so11 Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? 12 Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.(ESV)

Sticks and stones can break my bones but names will never hurt me is nice in theory or as a defense mechanism but it’s just not true, words can be more hurtful than a punch. How are you using words? Are you encouraging or discouraging? Are you restoring or destroying? Are you healing or hurting?


Personally, I need to start biting my tongue to try and get it under control. Everyone knows the old saying, if you can’t say something nice, then say nothing at all. While that’s better than saying something harmful, it’s better to give your tongue over to the Lord and ask Him to help you use your tongue for His glory thereby building up and edifying others. 

Start today and start at home. Begin encouraging your spouse and children, using your words to lift them up – the world is going to beat them down, let your home become a city of refuge, a strong tower where everyone is safe. Bless and do not curse.

~Godspeed!

Lazarus Come Forth

The story of Lazarus is one of my favorites in all of scripture. Maybe it has to do with all the great gospel songs about Lazarus but in any event it is the perfect picture of both the humanity and deity of Jesus. He weeps because His friend has died and His other friends are weeping over the loss of their brother. But He also knew ahead of time that Lazarus was going to die and waited to allow it to happen so He could raise him from the dead!

John 11:
Now a certain man was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
(It was that Mary which anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.)
Therefore his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold, he whom thou lovest is sick.

Can that be said about you, the one that Jesus loves?

When Jesus heard that, he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.
When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.

Does that seem strange to anyone else? John just said Jesus loved this family, one of it’s members is deathly ill, Jesus has demonstrated time and time again that He has the power to heal all manner of sickness and disease but he decides to stay put to allow His friend to die? We might not understand it but God has a plan and purpose even in the death of His followers.

Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us go into Judaea again.
His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee; and goest thou thither again?
Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world.
10 But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.
11 These things said he: and after that he saith unto them, Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.
12 Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.
13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.
14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.
15 And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him.

I find it interesting and encouraging that Jesus’ disciples just didn’t get it sometimes.

16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.

Thomas, always the optimist.

17 Then when Jesus came, he found that he had lain in the grave four days already.
18 Now Bethany was nigh unto Jerusalem, about fifteen furlongs off:
19 And many of the Jews came to 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 sat still in the house.
21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.

Martha was right, if Jesus had been there He would have healed Lazarus, that’s why Jesus waited until after Lazarus had died to arrive so He could demonstrate to all that He has power over death.

22 But I know, that even now, whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
23 Jesus saith unto her, Thy brother shall rise again.
24 Martha saith unto him, I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
26 And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
27 She saith unto him, Yea, Lord: I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God, which should come into the world.

Jesus the hope of all that believe, “I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.” Do you know Him? 

28 And when she had so said, she went her way, and called Mary her sister secretly, saying, The Master is come, and calleth for thee.
29 As soon as she heard that, she arose quickly, and came unto him.
30 Now Jesus was not yet come into the town, but was in that place where Martha met him.
31 The Jews then which were with her in the house, and comforted her, when they saw Mary, that she rose up hastily and went out, followed her, saying, She goeth unto the grave to weep there.
32 Then when Mary was come where Jesus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
33 When Jesus therefore saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.
34 And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see.
35 Jesus wept.

Jesus wept, the shortest verse in the entire Bible. But why did Jesus weep? He knew Lazarus was in Paradise. (2 Corinthians 5:8, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Romans 8:38-39 says that there is nothing: death, angels, principalities, height, depth, etc. that can separate us from God’s love. Luke 23:43 today you will be with Me in Paradise)

He also knew that He was getting ready to call him back….maybe that’s why He cried… He was having to call Him back to this sinful world only to die again.

36 Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him!
37 And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?
38 Jesus therefore again groaning in himself cometh to the grave. It was a cave, and a stone lay upon it.
39 Jesus said, Take ye away the stone. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days.
40 Jesus saith unto her, Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?
41 Then they took away the stone from the place where the dead was laid. And Jesus lifted up his eyes, and said, Father, I thank thee that thou hast heard me.
42 And I knew that thou hearest me always: but because of the people which stand by I said it, that they may believe that thou hast sent me.
43 And when he thus had spoken, he cried with a loud voice, Lazarus, come forth.
44 And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, Loose him, and let him go.

Do you think if Jesus had not called specifically for Lazarus to come forth that every grave there would have been emptied?

This part gets me all excited, you see there is coming a day when the Father will say: Son, go get your children! At that time Jesus is going to step out on a cloud and in a loud voice cry out “Come Forth!” but this time instead of just Lazarus, He’s calling for all His children to come home! Somebody give the Lord Praise!

4Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.
46 But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and told them what things Jesus had done.
47 Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man doeth many miracles.
48 If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.

Really? You just saw the man who’s name means “the Lord is salvation”, who claims to be the Son of God(see Matthew 27:43) call someone back from the dead and you went your way, wondering what do we do with this man because He is healing the sick, raising the dead, glorifying God and claiming to be the fulfillment of Bible prophecy? Uh, here’s a thought – believe, repent, and be saved!

49 And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said unto them, Ye know nothing at all,
50 Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation perish not.
51 And this spake he not of himself: but being high priest that year, he prophesied that Jesus should die for that nation;
52 And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.
53 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.(KJV)

Oh, OK, so you’re not going to believe, repent, and be saved – you decided to go with killing the Son of God……nice plan, sure that’ll work out well. There is none so blind as he who will not see.

Will you be among those that one day hear the voice of the Lord calling from Heaven, “Come forth!”?

~God Bless

Jesus The LORD

When you think of Jesus, what comes to mind? For most Christians, His Lordship is probably close to the top of the list.

Jesus The Living Word

John 1:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was GodHe was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men.

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.(ESV)

Jesus The Creator

Colossians 1:
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.(ESV)

Jesus Heals The Sick

John 4:
46 So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. 47 When this man heard that Jesushad come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48 So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” 49 The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50 Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. 51 As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. 52 So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” 53 The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household.(ESV)

Jesus Gives Sight To The Blind

Matthew 9:
27 And as Jesus passed on from there, two blind men followed him, crying aloud, “Have mercy on us, Son of David.” 28 When he entered the house, the blind men came to him, and Jesus said to them, “Do you believe that I am able to do this?” They said to him, “Yes, Lord.” 29 Then he touched their eyes, saying, “According to your faith be it done to you.” 30 And their eyes were opened. And Jesus sternly warned them, “See that no one knows about it.” 31 But they went away and spread his fame through all that district.(ESV)

Jesus Restores The Crippled

John 5:
Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, in Aramaic called Bethesda,which has five roofed colonnades. In these lay a multitude of invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had already been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be healed?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, and while I am going another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Get up, take up your bed, and walk.” And at once the man was healed, and he took up his bed and walked.(ESV)

Jesus Forgives Sin

Luke 5:
19 but finding no way to bring him in, because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and let him down with his bed through the tiles into the midst before Jesus. 20 And when he saw their faith, he said, “Man, your sins are forgiven you.” 21 And the scribes and the Pharisees began to question, saying, “Who is this who speaks blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God alone?” 22 When Jesus perceived their thoughts, he answered them, “Why do you question in your hearts? 23 Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? 24 But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed—“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.” 25 And immediately he rose up before them and picked up what he had been lying on and went home, glorifying God.26 And amazement seized them all, and they glorified God and were filled with awe, saying, “We have seen extraordinary things today.”(ESV)

Greater Vision – My Name Is Lazarus

Jesus Raises The Dead

Luke 8:
49 While he was still speaking, someone from the ruler’s house came and said, “Your daughter is dead; do not trouble the Teacher any more.” 50 But Jesus on hearing this answered him, “Do not fear; only believe, and she will be well.” 51 And when he came to the house, he allowed no one to enter with him, except Peter and John and James, and the father and mother of the child. 52 And all were weeping and mourning for her, but he said, “Do not weep, for she is not dead but sleeping.” 53 And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But taking her by the hand he called, saying, “Child,arise.” 55 And her spirit returned, and she got up at once. And he directed that something should be given her to eat. 56 And her parents were amazed, but he charged them to tell no one what had happened.(ESV)

Jesus Walks On Water

Matthew 14:
22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. 23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, 24 but the boat by this time was a long way from the land, beaten by the waves, for the wind was against them. 25 And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea26 But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear. 27 But immediately Jesus spoke to them, saying, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.”

28 And Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”29 He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus. 30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out,“Lord, save me.” 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” 32 And when they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”(ESV)

Jesus Has Power Over Demons

Luke 8:
26 Then they sailed to the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. 27 When Jesus had stepped out on land, there met him a man from the city who had demons. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he had not lived in a house but among the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell down before him and said with a loud voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me.” 29 For he had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many a time it had seized him. He was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the desert.)30 Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Legion,” for many demons had entered him. 31 And they begged him not to command them to depart into the abyss.32 Now a large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside, and they begged him to let them enter these. So he gave them permission33 Then the demons came out of the man and entered the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and drowned.(ESV)

Jesus Has Power Over Man

John 18:
When Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons. Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them. When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the groundSo he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.” This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken: “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.” 10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant’s name was Malchus.) 11 So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”(ESV)

Matthew 26:
52 Then Jesus said to him, “Put your sword back into its place. For all who take the sword will perish by the sword. 53 Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then should the Scriptures be fulfilled, that it must be so?”(ESV)

John 10:
17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again. 18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This charge I have received from my Father.”(ESV)

Even as those that would destroy Jesus came to seize Him, He gives a prelude to what the future holds. (Philippians 2:9-11, Revelation 19:11-16) At the hearing of three words spoken from the mouth of Jesus, “I AM HE”, those that would seize Him fell backwards to the ground! “No man takes my life from me, I lay it down of my own will.”

Jesus Rose From The Dead

Matthew 28:
Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. And behold, Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came up and took hold of his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”(ESV)

Jesus asked of the Pharisees,Which is easier, to say, ‘Your sins are forgiven you,’ or to say, ‘Rise and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the man who was paralyzed—“I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.”, but adding to that, what is more difficult for the Lord – to heal the sick, give sight to the blind, to cast out demons, to walk on water, to control nature, to raise the dead, to forgive sins? The answer, nothing is too difficult because He is Lord! Even death has no hold or authority over the Lord of Glory, give Him praise!

~God Bless

It’s Almost That Time of Year

Time just seems to fly, Christmas is almost here and the year is almost over. There’s only 42 shopping days until Christmas! Have you started buying gifts yet or do you wait until the last minute? This time of year is all about the gifts: getting gifts, giving gifts, returning gifts, regifting…….

How often, if ever, do you stop to consider the gifts your Heavenly Father has given to you? I’m not talking about counting your blessings, though Thanksgiving is coming up and you should do that as well.

John 3:
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.(ESV)

John 4:
10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.”(ESV)

Acts 1:
After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”(NIV)

Acts 2:
38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.(ESV)

Acts 11:
16 Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?”(NIV)

Romans 6:
23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.(NKJV)

Romans 11:
29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.(ESV)

Ephesians 2:
For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of Godnot a result of works, so that no one may boast.(ESV)

In reviewing these verses, what gifts has God given? He gave Jesus, His Son, to mankind. To those that accept the gift of His Son, He also gives the gift of salvation(eternal life in Heaven) and the gift of the Holy Spirit. But that’s not all, though those gifts are more than any of us deserve, he also gives other gifts as He sees fit.

Romans 12:
so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching;he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.(NKJV)

1 Corinthians 12:
Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led.Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.

There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues11 But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
………….
27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues. 29 Are all apostles?Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? 31 But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.(NKJV)

2 Timothy 1:
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.(ESV)

Hebrews 2:
how shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? It was declared at first by the Lord, and it was attested to us by those who heard, while God also bore witness by signs and wonders and various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit distributed according to his will.(ESV)

1 Peter 4:
The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God.If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.(NIV)

What’s the purpose of the gifts God has given to us? “To server others, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.” “For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God.

If God had given you a new car, would you leave it parked in the garage? If God had given you a diamond ring, would you leave it in the jewelry box?

Matthew 5:
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.(KJV)

~God Bless