As Jesus spoke plainly to His disciples, they found it easier to understand the things He was telling them. Now they understood and believed that Jesus was the Son of God. Now Jesus tells them that each one of them will abandon Him in His time of suffering. But He assures them that He will not be alone, even when they all leave Him. Jesus explains to them that they will have trials and sorrows in this world, but they can still have peace because He has overcome the world. We will have our times of trials as well. But we have someone now that the disciples didn’t have until later. When Jesus left, the Holy Spirit came to take His place. The Holy Spirit is not another god, He is the same God in a different form to perform a different function. We should not fear the trials and temptations that will come our way, because we have someone inside us who is more powerful than anything in the world.
4 But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won a victory over those people, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world.—1 John 4:4 (NLT)
How can we be called “over-comers” and “more than conquerors”, if we never have any problems to overcome or battles to win?
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Jesus is warning His disciples and us that there will be times when the path will not be so smooth. There will be times when we are mistreated and offended for the Gospel’s sake, but we need to press on. Paul thought he was doing a service for God when he was persecuting and killing Christians. He was walking in darkness but he encountered a powerful Light that changed his life. As long as Jesus was here with the disciples He knew that He would be the target for all the abuse. But now that He was leaving, He knew that He had to reinforce the things He had been teaching them. We need that same encouragement every day in our lives. It is easy for us to become frustrated and want to give up, but we have a friend that sticks closer to us than a brother. He is always with us. As Paul learned after his life-changing event, we must suffer with Christ. There is a cross for each of us to bear. But we must remember and hang onto the conclusion that Paul came to in his journey.
18 The sufferings we have now are nothing compared to the great glory that will be shown to us. 19 Everything God made is waiting with excitement for God to show his children’s glory completely.—Romans 8:18,19 NCV
6 God began doing a good work in you, and I am sure he will continue it until it is finished when Jesus Christ comes again–Philippians 1:6 NCV
8 The Lord will work out his plans for my life— for your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me. — Psalm 138:8 NLT
Do you ever have those days when you feel like you have never accomplished anything significant in your life? Most of us have had days when we wondered why we were even here on earth now. But God had a plan for us before the earth was created and He still has a plan for us today. God has never made a mistake and it wasn’t a mistake when He chose us. Even if we mess up over and over, as long as we sincerely repent, it is God that devised the plan and it is God that will carry out the plan. So, wherever we are right now, either God led us here or He allowed the circumstances that brought us here. So, look up, focus on Jesus and expect God to do something wonderful in our lives today. He knows when a hair falls from our heads, so you can be sure He is interested in everything we do. So, let’s take His outstretched hand and walk with Him today.
Just as God told the Israelis back then, He is saying the same thing to us today. We have wandered far away from God and His precepts and we refuse to return. God is not slack concerning His promises of blessing nor His promises of discipline. God is not confused but our political leaders are very confused. They are like the blind leading the blind. Every day we get farther and farther away from God and we have no remorse for our actions. God will not be mocked, we will reap what we have sown. Let us pray for our nation, pray fervently and continually until our leaders return to the God of our Fathers. Pray that God will raise up Godly men and women to lead this nation in paths of righteousness.
Our story never changes. It is the old, old story that is new every morning. It is our anthem, our song, our strength and our hope. Jesus voluntarily gave up His glory in heaven temporarily. He was born into the world, He was fully man and fully God. He went about doing good and God performed miracles, wonders and signs through Him. Not everyone believed the story then and not everyone believes the story now. But God, knowing what would happen, already had a plan in place. Jesus came to this earth to redeem a fallen people from their sins and nothing, no one, nor any force of any kind would prevent that from happening. Over and over, the religious leaders conspired to kill Jesus before His time and in a manner that would not be sufficient for redemption. God would not allow it. Jesus was the perfect man, God had the perfect plan and now we are redeemed. Just as God had a plan for Jesus, He has a plan for each of us to participate in the redemption story. We are not perfect, God already knows that, so when we fail, He understands. But His plan for each of us takes our weaknesses and failures into account. He is never surprised by our failures and He never gives up on us. We are chosen, we are called and we will succeed in the plan Jesus has for each of us. So, when satan, the father of lies, comes to shame us with all of our failures, we just need to tell him to take it up with Jesus, stand up. let God clean us up and press on. The battle is not ours, it’s the Lord’s and He won the war years ago at the cross. We may suffer losses and temporary setbacks, but we cannot be defeated.
9 “And the answer will be, ‘Because his people abandoned the Lord their God, who brought their ancestors out of Egypt, and they worshiped other gods instead and bowed down to them. That is why the Lord has brought all these disasters on them.’” — 1 Kings 9:9 NLT
God had fulfilled all of His promises and particularly those He had made to David and Solomon up to this point. God blessed David and allowed him to amass all the wealth that Solomon would need to build the temple. He had anointed David and then Solomon to be king over Israel. He gave Solomon peace from all of his enemies for the time it took to build the temple and his own palace. But the Creator of the universe knows the flesh. He knew that as time passed, the people would become complacent and return to their idol worship. So, even in this time of great celebration, God reminded them of what would happen if they abandoned Him and worshipped idols and honored created things as gods. When we forget God and when we no longer worship Him as the only true and living God, He allows things in our lives to remind us of Who He is. When God has blessed us, we must not become complacent and allow things or people to replace Him in our lives. We must continually take inventory of our attitudes and actions to be sure they are God-honoring. He is still the Creator of the universe, He is still the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. It is up to us to be sure He is sitting on the throne of our lives. If we forget and stray away, He will remind us of who He is and who we are. That’s the bad news. The good news is that He will coming looking for us and bring us home on His shoulders. When He has returned us to the fold, there will be a party in heaven.
1 Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. 2 Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! 3 Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies. 4 Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.
5 Don’t love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said,
“I will never fail you.
I will never abandon you.”–Hebrews 13:1-5 (NLT)
Jesus said that the two greatest commandments were 37 Jesus replied, “‘You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.’[e] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 A second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.–Matt 22:37,38 (NLT)
We must keep on showing our love for Jesus by loving others. We must be kind to others with charitable acts even when we think we can’t afford it. We must pray daily for Christians that are being persecuted around the world. It appears that it won’t be long until we will need those prayers for ourselves. Don’t love money or believe that it will sustain you. We should depend on God for all of our needs, God said “I will never fail you, I will never abandon you”. We should live our lives as if we really believed that. This is what the Lord requires of us: 8 No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good,
and this is what he requires of you:
to do what is right, to love mercy,
and to walk humbly with your God.– Micah 6:8 (NLT)