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Monthly Archives : April 2018

Jesus In John …. The Great I Am …… April 22, 2018

     I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6 ESV
     Counting within the verse above, there are seven plus times Jesus referred to himself as I AM, in the gospel of John.  6:35 I AM the Bread of life… 8:12 I AM the Light of the world… 10:9 I AM the Door… 10:11 I AM the Good Shepard… 11:25-26 I AM the Resurrection and the Life… 15:1 A AM the True Vine. The question which needs to be answered concerning our life is this: If Jesus were asked if He was living in you, would His answer be “I am?” Because when the I AM… Jesus… lives in the Christian, it enables that person to refer to the “I am’s” that he or she is, because the great I AM lives within them. I am a child of God. (John 1:12) I am Christ’s friend. (John 15:15) I am more than a conqueror through Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:37) I am a temple of the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 3:16) I am a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17) I am God’s workmanship. (Ephesians 2:10) I am a citizen of Heaven. (Philippians 3:20) I am loved. (1 John 4:10) and so many more “I am’s” because of Jesus in the believer’s life. Jesus makes very clear to us the way we are to experience the truth and receive life. It is exclusively by Him that we are able to b all these things and one day stand justified from our sin before God.

Jesus said, “I AM THE WAY.”
     Let’s be clear; Jesus did not say, “I am a way;” He said, “THE WAY.” In the thinking and philosophy of some in the world in which we live today, He would be considered very closed-minded to say such a thing. Truth is…. He is. It made Him unpopular when He walked upon the earth, and it is not much different in some circles today. Truth is, though, He didn’t come to be popular, He came to save all who would believe, from sin and death. If there was any other way, then His suffering and death upon the cross would have been unnecessary. However, it was absolutely necessary, for the Bible clearly teaches there is no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood. (Hebrews 9:22) Jesus was the perfect sacrificial Lamb of God who took away the sin of the world. (John 1:29)

Jesus said, “I AM THE TRUTH”
     Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:31-32 ESV  To abide means to live there, and we need to live in God’s word…. the Bible. This is not just an address which we visit, but the place where we live. We live there by hiding it in our hearts…. Your word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you. Psalm 119:11 NKJV How does this set you free? When you are in Christ as a Christian, you are all the things listed in the opening paragraph above, and more. It is freeing to know you are more in Christ than you could ever be on your own. To realize that you are saved by grace not your works means you understand the purpose of the cross, and this should cause you to live always with an attitude of gratitude toward God. You will express gratitude by striving to live on purpose the teachings of the Bible…. God’s word of truth. 

Jesus said, “I AM THE LIFE.”
     The life of which Jesus speaks is life without end, because there is no end to His life. Even though He was crucified and died, He rose again because death could not hold Him. Jesus is life everlasting… (John3:16) At the tour of Lazarus Jesus spoke these words, “I am the resurrection and THE life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die.” John 11:25-26 ESV  This belief is not an intellectual knowledge but a life knowledge. It is a belief that changes the way you live because you know Him as Savior and Lord. When you know Him as Savior, you have never-ending life, and have been set free from the clutches of sin and death. 

 

     When Jesus described Himself as the way, truth and life, He also made clear no one comes the God except through Him. Many roads do not lead to Heaven, for to believe this would be saying Jesus lied and his death was unnecessary. Jesus is God in the flesh, and God never lies. Paul said this in Titus 1:2 ESV…… “In hope of eternal life, which God WHO NVER LIES, promised before the ages began.”  The invitation to come to the way, truth and life is open to whosoever will. (John 3:16) The first step is to confess and believe… If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. Romans 10:9-10 ESV  This is a confession made by faith, believing Jesus did all the work required for salvation from sin. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not of your own doing; it is THE GIFT OF GOD, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. Ephesians 2:8-10 ESV  Let us therefore live and walk with heart knowledge of way, truth, and the life that the world may see in us…. THE GREAT I AM….. JESUS.

Because of His Grace ~Pastor David

Jesus In Luke …. The Savior of All …… April 15, 2018

     The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.  Luke 4:18 ESV

     Luke’s gospel gives more details concerning Jesus’ life and ministry than any of the other three individual gospels. Luke’s gospel is also the longest of the four gospels. Luke gathered his information concerning Jesus as would a detective or one that studied history, because he never met Jesus. I appreciate the additional accounts concerning the details of Jesus’ life which give us a glimpse into the fact that he did more than could ever be contained in just four gospels.
Another interesting fact concerning Luke is that he was the only Gentile writer in the Bible. This is important because it points to the fact that salvation in Jesus is for all people…. Jews and Gentiles. In Luke 4:18, Jesus was reading in the Synagogue on the Sabbath from the scrolls of the prophet Isaiah. He was reading concerning himself, even though he knew he would be rejected by his own. The fact is, this message is as true today as it was when it was written by Isaiah, and then read hundreds of years later by Jesus.

He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor:
     The good news is that Jesus came to save sinners from their sins. There is poverty from a physical standpoint; but spiritually, we are bankrupt. Every person on the face of the earth is poor spiritually and in need of Jesus’ saving grace to pay a debt we could never pay…. The debt of sin. To come into God’s presence someday thinking you could pay your debt of sin would be like a child going to a banker in an attempt to pay a million dollar debt. To understand what Jesus did for us on the cross, you must realize you are poor, broke, and without any means to pay your debt of sin. It is this person that will be saved and receive all the riches God has for such a person. Jesus said, “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:3 ESV

He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind:
     A blind person is captive to the darkness, and except a person receives the message of hope from these words of Jesus, they are doomed to continue to live in the darkness. They are captive to their own deceptions and fooled by Satan as in the garden when he deceived Adam and Eve. Paul, on the road to Damascus, was blinded by the truth/light that overpowered the darkness in his life. It was then that he heard the words of Jesus confirming the fact that He desires to open blinded eyes by sending him, “….to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins.” Acts 26:18 ESV  We have the same assignment today, as the message of the gospel has not changed from that day; nor will it ever, until this world comes to its end.

To set at liberty those who are oppressed:
     Where does oppression come from? The simple and obvious answer – the devil. Jesus overcomes this oppression today just as He did when he walked upon the earth in the flesh.  God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. He went about doing good and healing all who were OPPRESSED BY THE DEVIL, for God was with him. Acts 10:38 ESV   Oppression comes in many forms, but they are always lies from the devil. One such lie of oppression is that God could never forgive you for all you’ve done. This is one of the worst oppressions, for it will keep you in bondage as long as Satan can convince you that it is true. You must ask the question, why did Jesus come to die and then rise again? He did so that everyone who calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Acts 2:21 ESV  The truth Satan doesn’t want you to believe is, if the Son set you free, you will be free indeed. John 8:36 ESV

     Let us believe and understand the truth that Jesus is the Son of God. That He came to seek and to save the lost, and He is the Savior of the world. There is salvation in no other, and we can be more than conquerors in Christ Jesus, for greater is He that is in us than he that is in the world. (Mark 1:1… Luke 19:10… 1 John 4:14… Acts 4:12… Romans 8:37… 1 John 4:4)

Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

Jesus In Mark …. A Servant …… April 8, 2018

     But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Mark 10: 43-45 ESV

     Jesus lead by example each and every day, the life he calls all Christians to emulate. Never did he say nor imply, “Do as I say not as I do.” He instructed his disciple to do the same by teaching them to be a servant to everyone. (Mark 9:35) It seems backward in thought to say: if you want to be great, be a servant. Traditional thought would say: a servant serves great people. No one will ever be greater than Jesus who was God in the flesh, yet he, as he calls us to be, was a servant to all.
     How are we to be servants today as Christians? We serve. In the years I have served as pastor, I can easily count how many times I have been ask this question, “ If I become a part of this church, how and where will I be able to serve? ” On the other hand, I cannot begin to count how many times I’ve been asked some form this question, “ If I become a part of this church, what does it have to offer me?” A church will never be a great church until those who make up that church body seek how to become servants of one another. We all have different gifts and talents which have been given to us by God. It is called a gift because it is to be given in service to others. Servants are people of action, not simply spectators of all that is going on around them. In order to be a person of action, remember the teaching of Jesus.

Be A Servant:
     In the gospel of Mark we do not read about Jesus birth. This gospel begins with Jesus as an adult doing ministry. In the first couple of chapters he is healing people, casting out evil spirits, having dinner with sinners, and answering questions. Jesus shows us that he was a person of action. He did not just talk about doing service; he did service. We become servants by doing whatever God has put before us to do no matter how big or small. As in Psalm 100: 2 ESV  – Serve the Lord with gladness!  Psalm 100 tells us where to begin as servants. It would do you well to read the whole 100th Psalm and begin there, for it gives a clear picture of the God we serve.

Be A Slave:
     You may say, “I’m a slave to no one nor will I be,” but you would be wrong. Romans 6:16 ESV teaches, Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? Jesus said it this way, “Everyone who practice sin is a slave to sin” John 8:34 ESV
Years ago a singer named Bob Dylan, wrote these lyrics, “You’re gonna serve somebody, yes indeed you’re gonna have to serve somebody Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.” As Christians we have been bought and paid for by the blood of Jesus, and we are no longer our own. (1 Corinthians 6: 19-20) Therefore, we having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. Romans 6:18 ESV

Give your life:
     You will never be able to out-give God, but you need to die trying. To give your life to God is to surrender your will to his. You ‘die trying’ by living every day for him until, as we all will, you die. In Mark 8: 34-35 ESV, Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it.” Give your life to God, for he gave his life for you!

To be a servant is a choice. My prayer for myself and all Christians is to have the resolve of Joshua when he said, “And if it its evil in your eyes to serve the Lord, choose this day whom you will serve whether the gods your fathers served in the region beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you dwell. BUT AS FOR ME AND MY HOUSE, WE WILL SERVE THE LORD. Joshua 24:15 ESV Choose by following the person who was the greatest example of a servant that ever lived……. JESUS.

Because of His Grace ~ Pastor David

Easter Sunday….. He Is Alive …… April 1, 2018

     He is alive!!!!! What a morning this was two thousand years ago when one minute those who had followed Jesus were in hiding, and the next they were racing down the road to see an empty tomb. What a morning this is today! The amazing fact is that Jesus rose from the grave, and just as amazing is the fact that HE IS ALIVE today. Jesus defeated death and continues to defeat death in the lives of people today.

     As a Christian you are a walking miracle. One minute your heart was a tomb full of death and the next a throne room of the King. JESUS!!! Life now as then can be full of so much drama, pain, confusion, sorrow, and a hundreds other words describing the challenges of life. But because of the resurrection of Jesus, we need not focus upon those challenges, but rather we can focus upon our hope. Jesus!!! The days following the ascension of Jesus were challenging, and the early church was scattered because of persecution. His disciples (less Judas) and countless others died martyr’s deaths for proclaiming this fact: that Jesus had risen from the dead and was the hope for the world. If Jesus was truly dead as some tried to convince people, it would be insanity to suffer the way many did in order to just perpetuate a lie. A man might be willing to live for a lie, but to die for a lie would be a whole different thing. Around the world today there are many who are still suffering and being put to death for their trust in Jesus as the Savior of the world. The reason for this…….

He Is Alive… He Is Not Here:
     You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where
they laid him. Mark 16:6 ESV
     People today still make pilgrimages to see the empty tomb. Pilgrimages to be in the place where the events of that day still affect the events of this day. These events continue to affect every generation until Jesus returns to takes home His followers. Those who are willing to follow Him for who He is and believe the message of hope that He alone gives to a dying world. Jesus said, I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.  John 14:6 ESV

He is Alive…And We Are Blessed:
     Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believe. John 20:29 ESV A little over a year ago I stood in a tomb they said was used for the burial of Jesus. I did not hear angels telling me “He is not here.” Nor did Jesus, in His risen body, speak to me outside the tomb. At no time when I was in the Holy Land of Israel did I see Jesus in the flesh. Yet I, as a Christian, believe as other Christians that He died, was buried, and rose from the grave. I believe that He is alive today and is coming back to take believers home to live with Him forever. I believe this by faith, not in what I can see, but what I can know by the Holy Spirit. We have what the believers of that day did not have until after Jesus ascended to His Father. That is the Holy Spirit which was sent to enable us to do and experience all that He is and has promised. We may not have seen, but we are blessed by the Holy Spirit who enables us to see what otherwise we would never see. That He is the Christ, the Son of the living God.

 

He is Alive…. And Is Coming Again:
     Jesus said these words, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” And when he had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up , and a cloud took him out of their sight. And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you onto heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” Acts 1:8-11 ESV
He is alive, and as Christians we are forgiven and have received the Holy Spirit with a message for all who will hear and listen. His sacrifice upon the cross for our sin, His death, burial, and resurrection make possible life everlasting to all who will believe. This belief is not with just a head knowledge, but a heart knowledge by loving Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. (Mark 12:30 Luke 10: 27) It is living with the anticipation of seeing Jesus the Savior of the the world appear one day to take us home to live with Him forever.

May I encourage every Christian who reads these words to faint not in well doing, for we will one day be with Him forever. If you loose sight of this, you will loose sight of the importance of the message that Jesus came to save sinners. Jesus came to restore what was lost in the the garden because of sin- that is our relationship with God the Father. He accomplished all that God sent him to do, and HE IS ALIVE!!!!

Because of His Grace & Praising His Holy Name ~ Pastor David

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