“By This We Believe…”

30 Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God.” – John 16:30 NKJV

John 16:25-33 NCV

If Jesus asked us that question today, could we truthfully answer “Yes, Lord, I truly believe.”?  The disciples had spent the better part of three years with Jesus. They walked with Him, talked with Him, ate with Him and yet, it is only now that they confess that they believe that Jesus came from God. We might think this to be very strange.  Yet, how many times did we hear the story of Jesus from people that we believed and respected, yet we did not accept Him as our Savior?  In my teenage years, I went to the altar and had a very real emotional experience while I was kneeling there.  Yet, when I left that building, my thought patterns and lifestyle were unchanged.   Looking back at that experience years later, I realized that I had not truly accepted Jesus as my Savior and Lord.  It would be years later before I truly repented and turned to Jesus with all my heart.  True repentance will make a change in our thinking and in our lifestyle.  Will it keep us from ever sinning again?  No, the flesh will win some battles, but our response to the conviction of the Holy Spirit  will always be to turn back to Jesus and ask for His forgiveness.  And He will always be there with open arms, waiting to forgive us and restore to our salvation and His peace and joy.  

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

“Tell About the Light”

6 God sent a man, John the Baptist, 7 to tell about the light so that everyone might believe because of his testimony. — John 1:6-7 NLT

John 1:6-14 NLT

God sent John the Baptist as a forerunner of Jesus.  The purpose and plan for John’s life was to tell the world about the Light that was coming.  John understood and accepted his mission wholeheartedly.  John spent his life in the wilderness living on locusts and honey, witnessing to those who came out to hear him.  He was not the Light but was a witness that the Light was coming.  John was so effective in his work that Jesus called him “the greatest man who ever lived”

Luke 7:24-28

Yet, Jesus said “even the least person in the Kingdom of God is greater than he is”.  How can this be that we could be greater than John the Baptist who lived his life for and ultimately gave his life for Jesus?  The word “greater” here is used in the same sense that the word “greater” is used when Jesus said that we would do even “greater” works than Jesus did when He walked here on the earth.  It is not meant to demean or lessen the value of the work that John and Jesus did, but to emphasize the greatness of the Kingdom of God itself.   It is not written to give us illusions of grandeur or self-importance, but to encourage us to work for the Kingdom of God.  It is not as individual Christians that we are greater or can do greater works but it is our inclusion in the Kingdom of God that is emphasized as being of utmost importance.  So, the work we do for the expansion of the Kingdom of God is greater in importance than anything that we do that the world considers great or important.  If we are to be “greater” then we must finish the work that John started.  John was the forerunner, Jesus was the reason and we are the witnesses for this and future generations.  We are here as Light and Life to a dark and dying world.  So, we should be beacons and alarms that speak the words of Life to those around us wherever we are and whenever we can. There is no “greater” work to be done.

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

“You Must Really Believe”

even-smaller-bug-light1

23 I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. 24 I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. — Mark 11:23-24 NLT

These are two well-known and often quoted verses from the Bible.  Of course, we know the basic principle of God answering prayer is true.  But, can we just randomly pick a mountain, ask God to cast it into the sea and watch it immediately happen?  Of course not.  We might not like the mountain where it is but there might be a million other people who love it and perhaps even God Himself might like the mountain where it is.  If God has told us to pray that prayer about a specific problem, then that mountain will be moved.  But the important thing for us to notice and remember with these two verses is the fact that they are the meat between two slices of bread.  We can’t just have the meat, we have to eat the whole sandwich.  Look at the principle in verse 22:

22 Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God.”

There is a requirement that God has laid out for us before we ask Him to move the mountain.  And then verse 25 gives us another requirement that we must fulfill before we ask God for anything:

25 But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.


And there are some veggies that need to be eaten as well,  Have we determined that what we are asking for aligns with all the Scriptures, not just our favorite ones?  If we have met the requirements for God to answer our prayer — believing (being completely convinced that it will happen), forgiveness and alignment with His will, then the mountain will move.

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

“The Message You Gave Me”

8 for I have passed on to them the message you gave me. They accepted it and know that I came from you, and they believe you sent me. – John 17:8 NLT

John 17:6-9 NLT

From verse one of this chapter, Jesus has been talking to the Father. He has been rehearsing to the Father all that He had done in obedience to the Father. Of course, God already knew all of this. But Jesus was specifically pointing out to His Father that the disciples had now accepted the truth of His words and the truth of who He really was. Jesus was leading up to His intercessory prayer for not only His disciples but for every person that would believe in Him from then until the end of this world. Starting tomorrow, we will be looking at THE most beautiful, powerful intercessory prayer that has ever been spoken by a human. And what makes it even more meaningful is the fact that it is only an example to show us what Jesus is doing in heaven right now.

24 But because Jesus lives forever, his priesthood lasts forever. 25 Therefore he is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.—Hebrews 7:24, 25 (NLT)

Just think about that for a minute, Jesus, Himself, is praying for us right now!

27 The eternal God is your refuge, and his everlasting arms are under you. He drives out the enemy before you; he cries out, ‘Destroy them!’ —Deuteronomy 33:27 (NLT)“

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

“Didn’t I Tell You?

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

If You Believe

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. “Lamazet 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 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

“Believe the Evidence”

38 But if I do his work, believe in the evidence of the miraculous works I have done, even if you don’t believe me. Then you will know and understand that the Father is in me, and I am in the Father.” – John 10:38 NLT

Believe the Evidence

Jesus is setting a great example. He does exactly what His Father does and they should believe Him. If they can prove that He has done anything that God Himself would not do, then they have every right not to believe in Him or what He says. But if they cannot find anything that He has done in opposition to the Father, then they should believe Him. Everything that John said about Jesus was true and Jesus had been faithful to that description. Jesus issues the same challenge to non-believers today. If you can find any sin in the things I did in my lifetime or if you can find one promise that God has not been faithful to fulfill, then you shouldn’t believe me or my Word. But if you can’t find anything, then why don’t you accept my Word and accept me as your Savior and Lord? It is really that simple.

Jesus answered, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. The only way to the Father is through me.—John 14:6 (NCV)

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

Post 05-07-2020

“The Truth Will Set You Free”

 32 Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

– John 8:32 NIV
Free

No matter how many times Jesus was rejected, He continued to try to get the people to believe Him. Jesus kept on saying what His Father had taught Him to say and some who heard believed Him. To those who believed, Jesus said “You are truly my disciples if you obey my teachings and you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” The people replied that they had never been slaves, so how could they be set free? Jesus assured them that everyone who has a lifestyle of sin is a slave of sin. So it was with us, we were slaves to sin before we accepted Jesus as our Savior. He has set us free by making us a new creation in Christ Jesus. As soon as we accept Jesus, we become citizens of heaven and new creations. But living a holy lifestyle is a continuous process that we must work at everyday.

2 Do not be shaped by this world; instead be changed within by a new way of thinking. Then you will be able to decide what God wants for you; you will know what is good and pleasing to him and what is perfect.–Romans 12:2 (NCV)

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

Post 04-23-2020

“You Will Die In Your Sins”

24 That is why I said that you will die in your sins; for unless you believe that I am who I claim to be, you will die in your sins.” – John 8:24 NLT

John 8:23-27 NLT

Jesus continues to try to convince the crowds of who He is. “You are of this world” but “I AM not”. Then He said to them because you refuse to believe you will die in your sins. The people repeated their demand, “tell us who you are”. Jesus said “I AM”. He tells them that He only says what He hears from the one who sent Him. You would have thought that hearing “I AM” would have reminded these Old Testament scholars of what God told Moses when Moses asks Him, “Who shall I say sent me and God replied “tell them that “I AM” sent you”. But just as Pharaoh refused to believe and his heart grew harder, so it was with the religious leaders and Pharisees of that day in Jerusalem. Let us speak the words that we hear the Holy Spirit say to us and pray that those word will fall on listening ears and the seeds of faith will be planted in the hearts of those that hear. When we are questioned, we too, can say that “I AM” has sent us.

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

Post 04-23-2020

“What Should We Do?”

28 They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?”  29 Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” – John 6:28-29 NLT​

In its simplest form, the “work” that Jesus came to do was to save the world. He could have done that by going straight to the cross, dying and being resurrected. But there were many things that God wanted Him to do while He was here. This work included miracles to draw people to God. It also included living a sinless life as an example for us to follow. Just as the work that Jesus did included more than death and resurrection, “the only work God wants from you” is to “believe the One He has sent” includes more than just believing. But believing is the first step and if you don’t believe and receive the Holy Spirit, you will not be able to do the rest of the work.

36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. 37 He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. 38 So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”—Matthew 9:36-38 (NLT)

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

Post 04-02-2020

"How Will You Believe What I Say?"

47 But since you don’t believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?” ​ – John 5:47 NLT

John 5:45-47 NLT

It wasn’t necessary for Jesus to accuse us or condemn us. Our unbelief has already condemned us. Just as the religious leaders were condemned by their unbelief of the Old Testament Scriptures, we are condemned by our unbelief. We have even more reason to believe the truth about Jesus than the people that Jesus was speaking to then. If we believe in Him, there is no condemnation or judgment for us.

18 “There is no judgment against anyone who believes in him. But anyone who does not believe in him has already been judged for not believing in God’s one and only Son. 19 And the judgment is based on this fact: God’s light came into the world, but people loved the darkness more than the light, for their actions were evil.–John 3:18,19 (NLT)
33 Who dares accuse us whom God has chosen for his own? No one—for God himself has given us right standing with himself. 34 Who then will condemn us? No one—for Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honor at God’s right hand, pleading for us.—Romans 8:33, 34 (NLT)

Will the world accuse us and condemn us? Will we be offended? Of course, but we must remember that the words they speak have no authority in the courts of heaven. If we believe, there is no condemnation for us. This is the Good News that we need to spread to a world full of people searching for something to give them hope in a world filled with violence and discord. There is someone who can give them the peace for which they are so desperately searching.

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

Post 03-26-2020