I saw this happen to Jesus, so I testify that he is the Chosen One of God
. – John 1:34 NLT
This is the faithful witness of a faithful servant. He saw all the messages he had preached come to life in one Man/God.
1 In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.–John 1:1 (NLT)
14 So the Word became human and made his home among us. He was full of unfailing love and faithfulness. And we have seen his glory, the glory of the Father’s one and only Son.–John 1:14 (NLT)
Not only do we have the witness of John the Baptist, but we have the witness of God Himself.
16 When He had been baptized, Jesus came up immediately from the water; and behold, the heavens were opened to Him, and He saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting upon Him. 17 And suddenly a voice came from heaven, saying, “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”—Matt. 3:16,17 (NLT)
Let us use these examples as an inspiration to be faithful witnesses. We do not need to worry about what we will say or do, if we are questioned about our Christianity. God has promised us over and over that He will never forsake us nor leave us. He goes before us, He is with us, and He is our rearguard. He has also promised to give us the words to say
19 But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; 20 for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you.—-Matt 10:19,20 (NLT)
Although these words were spoken to the twelve disciples as Jesus sent them out to witness, I believe they are just as true for us today when we make ourselves available for God to use. We need to store the Word in our heart by meditating on the Scriptures. Then whenever and wherever we go, we should remember God’s words to Joshua.
9 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”—Joshua 1:9 (NLT)
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
10 God, for whom and through whom everything was made, chose to bring many children into glory. And it was only right that he should make Jesus, through his suffering, a perfect leader, fit to bring them into their salvation.
Why does the Creator even consider the created? Why would God create us knowing that in the future, He would have to give His only Son as a sacrifice for our sins? He caused His son to give up the glory of heaven and become lower than the angels He had created. This is love that human beings cannot understand. Through His kindness, God allowed His son to suffer and die for us. Then, because Jesus was obedient even to death on that cross, God crowned Him with glory and honor and established Him as ruler over all things. When Jesus returns, He will use the authority given to Him to rule and reign. At that time, those who have refused to bow before Him will be cast into an everlasting hell. Those who have chosen to receive His salvation will be with Him in the new heaven and the new earth forever. We will cast our crowns at His feet and He will be crowned King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
11 Then the Lord said to me, “Look, Jeremiah! What do you see?”
And I replied, “I see a branch from an almond tree.”
12 And the Lord said, “That’s right, and it means that I am watching, and I will certainly carry out all my plans.” — Jeremiah 1:11, 12 NLT
The almond tree is particularly significiant in the Holy Scriptures. It is a sign of hope because it blossoms in the middle of the winter on a leafless tree. It reminds us that there is life even in our darkest hours. It is connected with charity in the book of Numbers becasue Aaron’s rod was from an almond tree and it blossomed and brought forth fruit overnight. Charity because the Levitical tribe lived on the gifts of the people, they had no earthly possessions. In the original KJV, the branch was called a “rod” which symbolizes power or leadership. In Old Testament times, the fruit of the almond tree was beleived to be the external expression of the goodness that is in all of us. Here in Jeremiah, the branch or “rod” of the almond tree is associated with God watching over HIs word and HIs people with power to perform. It means that He will carry out His plans and nothing nor anyone can stop Him from doing so. Our part is to spread His word among the people. Just as Moses told Aaron to take the incense and go between the dead and the living to stop the plague, we are to take the Word and stand in the gap to stop the advance of sin. We speak the Word and stand, God’s Word accomplishes and produces the fruit.
11 It is the same with my word. I send it out, and it always produces fruit.
It will accomplish all I want it to,
and it will prosper everywhere I send it. — Isaiah 55:11 NLT
12 Then the disciples came to him and asked, “Do you realize you offended the Pharisees by what you just said?” 13 Jesus replied, “Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted, 14 so ignore them. — Matt. 15:12-14a NLT
Pilate washed his hands and declared that he was innocent of the blood of Jesus. He could have just as easily told the crowd that he would not allow them to take Jesus because he found nothing deserving of death in the actions of Jesus. Without Pilate’s permission and without him furnishing the guard detail to carry out the crucifixion, the crowd would not have been able to crucify Jesus. The Jews had no authority to sentence anyone to death or to carry out the death sentence. Though Pilate did not participate physcially in the crucifixion, neither did he stop it from happening even though he had the authority to do so. Pilate had worldy authority to do something. We have a hgher authority who has authorized us to speak out when the name of Jesus is being blasphemed and God’s name is being taken in vain. Do we think that we can hide behind our fear of offending others and not speak out? Do we think Jesus is pleased when we stand by and do or say nothing when injustices are taking place before our very eyes? Jesus put His life on the line by offending the religious leaders and rulers of that day. He gave up His life so that we could have the authority to speak and act in His name. If we can trust Jesus to save us and keep our souls safe throughout eternity, surely we can trust Him to protect us when we follow His example and His commands.
10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand. — Isaiah 41:10 NLT
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. 24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. 26 Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.—Gal. 5:22-26 (NIV)
God is waiting to show you the Way.
Once Jesus had finished the work on the Cross and was resurrected, He was given all authority in heaven and earth. Because we have the Holy Spirit dwelling within us, we have access to that the same power and authority as Jesus.
32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?–Romans 8:32 (NIV)
So, we should all exhibit the fruit of the Spirit in our lifestyles. (Note: fruit is singular, we don’t just get a little at a time, we get access to all of it immediately) A living God, a resurrected Jesus and an indwelling Holy Spirit is what separates Christianity from all the religions in the world. But, for the world to know that, we have to let them know that we have access to all the fruit of the Spirit. If we don’t have peace in the middle of the storm, show love even when we are misunderstand and have joy in our hearts at all times, are people going to believe that what we have is any different than what they have? We must crucify the flesh if we are going to stay in step with the Spirit. The fruit of the Spirit does not give us a haughty, holier-than-thou attitude, so we must speak and walk in humbleness.
1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.—Eph. 4:1-3 (NIV)