Gaining Eternal Life

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25 Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity. – John 12:25 NLT
 

Jesus responds to their request by saying that it was now time for Him to be glorified. They did not understand that He was referring to His death and resurrection. The grain of wheat that had to die was Jesus. Once a seed has sufficient moisture and temperature, it will split and a new plant starts to grow. The new plant takes everything from the seed to accomplish its growth. In other words, the seed gives itself up (dies) for the new plant. With proper care, the new plant will produce much fruit of its own kind. Jesus knew from before the foundation of the world, that His mission would be to give Himself up for us. When Jesus freely gives Himself up and is buried, the germination process has begun. Now all who accept Him are new creatures. Formed completely out of His body from His own nature. Now that the process of growth has started, we must continue that process by caring for the new creature. We do that by studying Scripture, meditating on His Word and communicating with God through the Holy Spirit. If we follow the example of Jesus, we become bond slaves to Him and servants to our fellow man. We keep this up until our physical body is used up or until Jesus returns, whichever comes first.
17 If anyone belongs to Christ, there is a new creation. The old things have gone; everything is made new! –2 Cor. 15:17 (NCV)
Then when Jesus returns, the transformation will be complete! We will have new bodies because our fleshly bodies cannot stand in the glory of God.

1 Cor.15:46-49 NLT

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 10-21-2017

We Want to See Jesus

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 They said, “Sir, we want to meet Jesus.”
– John 12:21b NLT
The people were still spreading the word about what Jesus had done for Lazarus. This caused a lot of curiosity in the villages and caused others to want to meet Jesus. Even people who were not Jews had become interested in who this man was. They were there to celebrate the Passover Feast. They went to Philip and said “Sir, we would like to see Jesus.” There are lost people in our world today who want to see Jesus. they may not realize that is who they are looking for, so we have to be the ones to tell them. They are empty and they need someone to love them enough to tell them about Jesus.

Does our lifestyle and the way we act toward them cause the lost to be attracted to Christ? Would a person who knew you feel comfortable about asking you about Jesus? Are we letting our light shine?

 
2 ​The people who walk in darkness

    will see a great light.
For those who live in a land of deep darkness,
    a light will shine.

 – Isaiah 9:2 NLT​


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

10-20-2017

He’s Coming For Us

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15  “Don’t be afraid, people of Jerusalem.Look, your King is coming,
    riding on a donkey’s colt.” – John 12:15 NLT
 

The crowd heard that Jesus was coming so they took palm branches and went out to greet Jesus. In those days, it was common for the people to lay branches out for a king or a great leader to walk on or ride on as he entered the town. A conquering king would normally enter riding on a horse trained for war. A king that was coming in peace would ride in on a colt to show his humbleness. Jesus was a King who came in peace and riding on a colt also fulfilled prophecy.

9 Rejoice, O people of Zion!​ Shout in triumph, O people of Jerusalem!​ Look, your king is coming to you.​ He is righteous and victorious,​ yet he is humble, riding on a donkey—​ riding on a donkey’s colt.—Zechariah 9:9 (NLT)

Jesus came first as a suffering servant and a peacemaker but His next entrance will be as a conquering King on a horse prepared for war.

11 Then I saw heaven opened, and a white horse was standing there. Its rider was named Faithful and True, for he judges fairly and wages a righteous war.12 His eyes were like flames of fire, and on his head were many crowns.–Revelation 19:11-12a (NLT)


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 10-19-2917

Dying is Better

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10 Then the leading priests decided to kill Lazarus, too,
– John 12:10 NLT
Sin always takes us further than we want to go. The leaders had planned to kill Jesus and now they would have to kill Lazarus as well. How many others would have to die before the movement was stopped? We don’t know because Christians are still being killed today for their faithfulness to Jesus. The persecuted church of today will tell you that it is much harder to live for Jesus than it is to die for Him. Would we suffer and die for Jesus? Jesus said that we must be willing to do that.
34 Then Jesus called the crowd to him, along with his followers. He said, “If people want to follow me, they must give up the things they want. They must be willing even to give up their lives to follow me. 35 Those who want to save their lives will give up true life. But those who give up their lives for me and for the Good News will have true life.–Mark 8:34-35 (NCV)
Have we made that commitment? Can we say along with Paul:
10 I want to know Christ and the power that raised him from the dead. I want to share in his sufferings and become like him in his death.11 Then I have hope that I myself will be raised from the dead.–Philippians 3:10, 11 (NCV)
The great thing is that for us, it is a win-win situation. Paul put it this way:
21 For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better.–Philippians 1: 21 (NLT)

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 10-18-2017

The Gift of Giving Generously

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Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance.
-John 12:3 NLT
The purpose of every human is to glorify God. On an earlier occasion, Martha had complained about Mary setting at the feet of Jesus while she cooked and served the people. Now, Judas is complaining about Mary “wasting” the expensive perfume to anoint the feet of Jesus. God has gifted each of us with different talents to achieve His glory. Martha was a worker and a helper. She knew how to get things done. Mary had the gifts of giving and encouraging. Some of us are vessels of gold and silver while others are vessels of wood and earth. Sometimes we try to do things outside of our gifting and calling. Those are the times that cause problems in the body of Christ. If you haven’t already, ask God to show you the gift He has given you to glorify Him. The body of Christ needs each of us to fulfill our calling, God needs each of us to exercise our gift so that the body will be complete. Once you discover “what is right” for you, you will find the joy and peace that God wants to give each of His children every day

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 10-17-2017

Plotting to Kill Jesus

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53 So from that time on, the Jewish leaders began to plot Jesus’ death. – John 11:53 NLT

Yesterday, in verse 50 of John 11, we hear Caiaphas prophesying that one man must die for the nation. He thought his statement was about handing Jesus over to the Romans so that they would not take any authority away from the Sanhedrin, the ruling council of Israel. He did not realize the eternal implications of what he said, God used the most powerful Jew in Israel, at that time, to announce His salvation plan for the whole world. Had the Pharisees and the ruling council understood this, perhaps, they would not have been so determined to kill Jesus. Jesus, knowing their thoughts and intentions left Bethany and went to the town of Ephraim located in the mountainous area northeast of Jerusalem. It was approaching the time for the Feast of the Passover. Little did the people realize that this would be the Passover that marked the end of the Passover as they knew it. The perfect, sacrificial Lamb was in their midst and they did not recognize Him. Jesus had shown them who He was by His words and His works.They should have been honoring Him. Instead, they were trying to kill Him. He is still in our midst today, are we honoring Him? Does our lifestyle, our dreams, our hopes, our actions, our words reflect His presence in our lives? Or are we still killing Jesus today?

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 10-16-2017

Only One Man

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50 You don’t realize that it’s better for you that one man should die for the people than for the whole nation to be destroyed.” – John 11:50 NLT

After seeing Lazarus come out of the tomb, some of the people believed and others went to tell what they had seen. When they told the Pharisees and the leading priests, this group called a meeting of the whole Jewish council. The council was afraid that if Jesus kept doing miracles, He and His followers might become too powerful and upset the Romans. Then the Romans would remove them from the Temple and take away the authority they had been allowed to exercise over the Jewish people. Without realizing what he was saying, Caiaphas, the high priest for that year, prophesied that Jesus would die for the redemption of the Jews and other nations to make them into one body, the Church. But, since they could not sentence anyone to death, they needed the Romans to do that for them. God uses people to fulfill His plans and He has a purpose for every life. Some are willing agents. Isaiah, Moses, Daniel, David and the apostles are good examples. Others are used by God, even if it is unwillingly and unwittingly, to accomplish His purpose. Pharaoh, Caiaphas, Judas and Pilate are examples of this type of agent.

Col. 1:15-20 NLT


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 10-15-2017

“Do You Now Believe?”

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40 Jesus responded, “Didn’t I tell you that you would see God’s glory if you believe?” – John 11:40 NLT

Just imagine this scene! A crowd standing at a tomb, which was a cave covered by a large stone. Some were crying, some were doubting, all of them, I am sure, wondering what Jesus was going to do next. Is it any wonder that Jesus had cried earlier? He was surrounded by a sea of unbelief. It would have been particularly hurtful because the ones who knew Him and He loved so much were also doubting. But, thank God, Lazarus didn’t have to depend on the faith of all those people or he would never have come out of that grave. Picture the look on their faces when Jesus said “Lazarus, come forth!’ Their attitude went from one of doubt to amazement! Some of them were even convinced that Jesus was really who He said He was. “Let Him go!” There must have been some rejoicing there that day in Bethany! STOP! Now, picture yourself in that same crowd that same day. In which group do you see yourself? Do you come there as a believer or a doubter? Do you leave there as a believer or a doubter? Fast forward to “now”. In which group are we now? Are we fully persuaded?

16 “For this is how God loved the world: He gave[g] his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.
​- John 3:16

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 10-14-2017

Jesus Weeps for the People

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35 Then Jesus wept. – John 11:35 NLT
Mary made the exact same statement that Martha had made, “Lord, if You had been here, my brother would not have died”. The weeping of Mary, Martha and their friends clearly upset Jesus. So much so that Jesus began to cry. The crowd thought He was crying because Lazarus had died. Little did they realize that the death of Lazarus had nothing to do with His tears. Jesus was heartbroken because of the lack of understanding and faith displayed by these people including Mary and Martha. You can almost hear Jesus asking them the same question He asked His disciples.
17 Jesus answered, “You people have no faith, and your lives are all wrong. How long must I put up with you? How long must I continue to be patient with you? Bring the boy here.” ​–Matt. 17:17 (NCV)
We have to ask ourselves the question: How many times have we broken the heart of the one who loved us enough to die for us? Has our lack of faith and our disobedience caused a river of tears? But God has already forgotten all those sins and mistakes. Let each of us pledge to do the same and press forward with a renewed faith that brings gladness and joy to our Lord and Savior. It would bring joy to His heart if each of us truly “cast all our cares upon Him” and let Him carry us through every situation. His mercies are new every morning.
22 The Lord’s love never ends;​ his mercies never stop.
23 They are new every morning;​ Lord, your loyalty is great.​–Lamentations 3:22,23 (NCV)


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 10-13-2017

To Live or to Die?

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21 Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if only you had been here, my brother would not have died. – John 11:21 NLT

As Jesus traveled toward Bethany, He learned that Lazarus had been buried four days ago. Many had already come out to comfort Mary and Martha about the loss of their brother. Martha heard that Jesus was coming and ran out to meet Him, but Mary stayed home. Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” She had no idea that this death would be used for the glory of God. But Jesus assured her that Lazarus would live again. Martha, still not understanding, thought Jesus was referring to the final resurrection. But Jesus told her that those that believe in Him will never die. Jesus asked Martha if she believed this. She said, “Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ…. “. But her answer did not acknowledge what Jesus had asked her. If she truly believed, would she have thought that Lazarus died just because Jesus wasn’t physically present?
The Holy Spirit had not yet been sent to remain on the earth and would not be here until Jesus ascended, so we can understand how Martha and the others might have thought that Jesus had to be physically present to heal Lazarus. But, thank God, we have His promise that Christ, in the form of the Holy Spirit, abides in us and that we are in Christ Jesus. We are never without Jesus. He will never leave us or forsake us.

20 And we know that the Son of God has come, and has given us understanding so that we may know Him who is true; and we are in Him who is true, in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life.—1 John 5:20 (NASB)
If we truly believe this, why do we worry and fret? Isn’t dying for and in Christ to be much more desired than living in this sinful world? As Paul said:

To Live or to Die


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 10-12-2017