“You Offended the Pharisees”

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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 physically in the crucifixion, neither did he stop it from happening even though he had the authority to do so.  Pilate had worldly authority to do something.  We have a higher 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

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

“Of Greater Worth Than Gold”

6 In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.— 1 Peter 1:6​-7​ NI​V

​We have to go through trials and tribulations here on earth.  This should not surprise us, Jesus said “in this world you will be offended”. There is a specific reason that God allows us to go through these times of testing. And, amazingly enough, it is not to prove to Him how much we love Him, He already knows the answer to that question.  No, these tests are so we can know where we are on our journey with Him.  The suffering does allow us to realize whether or not our faith is genuine. If it proves to be genuine and our works withstand the fire, that is worth more than anything money can buy. Everything on earth can be and will be destroyed by fire except our faith and our hope.  Because we have hope eternal, we can praise Jesus Christ and give unto Him the glory and honor He so richly deserves. It is then that we will realize the truth of what Paul tells us:

18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. 19 For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.— Romans 8:18-19 NIV

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

“I Have Told You These Things”

“I have told you these things so that you won’t abandon your faith. – John 16:1 NLT

John 16:1-5 NLT

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

“It Will Release Perfection”

4 And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.​ — James 1:4 TPT

James 1:1-4 TPT

Although James addresses this letter to the “twelve tribes”, the Holy Spirit included it in the Bible for our benefit as well. We are brothers and sisters of the Christian Jews, James and Jesus Christ. It emphasizes the statement that Jesus made when He said “in this world, you will be offended”. Troubles will come our way, of that we can be sure. There is a reason God allows trials and temptations to come into our lives. God knows our maturity level and what decisions we will make in those trying times. He allows those times so we will know where we are spiritually. Most of the time, if not all the time, we find that we have a long way to go to get to where God wants us to be. When the trials come, do we whine and complain or do we accept the situation realizing that God has put us here so we learn to depend on Him? There is nothing more sobering than when we realize that we have done what Peter did when he said he didn’t know Jesus. Oh, I am sure that we would never verbalize that, but what do our actions tell those around us? Like Paul, we should always realize that we are not there yet, but we should be focused on getting there.

Philippians 3:12-14 NLT

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

Post 12-14-2019

“Speak”

43 For they loved human praise more than the praise of God. — John 12:43 NLT

John 12:42-50 NLT

There were many of the people, leaders in the religious communities and others who believed what Jesus was saying but refused to admit it in public. They were more concerned about what the Jewish leaders would say and do than they were about what Jesus said.  They were afraid that they would lose their positions in the community and be removed from the synagogue.  They would not admit publicly that they believed what Jesus said.  When we read these verses, it is easy for us to criticize and judge these people for their lack of support for Jesus.  But, if we stop, meditate and let the Holy Spirit lead us into the truth, we may just realize that we are sometimes like those people.  Yes, our egos say we would never deny Jesus and perhaps, verbally we wouldn’t.  However, we must look at our actions or our lack of action in certain situations.   How many times have we been nudged by the Holy Spirit to say something to someone or do something for someone and by our inactions, we said “NO”.  In those times, we became “secret believers”  preferring silence over speaking out for Jesus, our Lord and Savior.   How many times have we felt the shame when we are convicted of our inactivity by the Holy Spirit?   Jesus said that “if you deny me before men, I will deny you before the Father”.  If we do not speak out and our lifestyles do not show others that we are living for Jesus, then the truth of His words will judge us on the day of judgment.  We must be willing to get out of our comfort zones and be ridicule, offended and persecuted because we believe the truth.  There is only one God and only one Jesus who died for our sins.  There is no other way to heaven.

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

Post 01/22-2019

“The Truth and Nothing But the Truth”

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18 Those who speak for themselves want glory only for themselves, but a person who seeks to honor the one who sent him speaks truth, not lies. – John 7:18 NLT
 

It doesn’t seem to matter how many miracles Jesus had performed or how many times He had spoken, the people were always surprised when they heard Him. Jesus told them that the message He was giving them was not His own but it came from God the Father who had sent Him. Jesus reminded them that they had Moses law which said “Thou shalt not kill” but the leaders were determined to have Him killed, thus disobeying the law handed down by Moses. In today’s world, we must follow the example Jesus set. We must deliver a message based on truth as given to us by the Holy Scriptures. Our message should not glorify us, but it should glorify our Father, who is in heaven. As John the Baptist said:

30 He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.–John 3:30 (NLT)


When we speak the truth as it is given to us by the Holy Spirit to speak and that message is rejected, it is not us that is being rejected, but, rather, it is Jesus that is being rejected. So, don’t be concerned about being offended, just speak the truth in love and God will take care of the results.


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

Post 09-14-2017

Suffering for Christ’s Sake

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21 For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. ​– 1 Peter 2:21 NLT​

1 Peter 2:18-21 NLT

In today’s society and in most countries, we no longer have slavery. But in our workplaces, we do have taskmasters that often treat us unfairly. So, Peter’s admonition to endure with patience is directed to us. Just as Jesus is our example of enduring unjust pain and persecution, so are we to do the same. God is our Jehovah-jireh, our provider. He has provided us with jobs so that we can provide for our families. Instead of complaining and gossiping about our bosses, we should be thankful for the provision. No matter who signs the paycheck, God is our provider. We are to set the example for those around by having a grateful attitude and not joining in when others are criticizing the employer(s). Jesus promised us that we would be treated unjustly and offended by the world, so we should not be surprised by the unjust treatment we receive. We have not yet been required to be faithful when we are facing death for Christ’s sake. We should have the same attitude that the apostles had in the First Century.

 
Acts 5:40-41 NLT

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

Post 06-22-2017

So, Let It Grow!

3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.​ — James 1:3 NLT


Although James addresses this letter to the “twelve tribes”, the Holy Spirit included it in the Bible for our benefit as well. We are brothers and sisters of the Christian Jews, James and Jesus Christ. It emphasizes the statement that Jesus made when He said “in this world, you will be offended”. Troubles will come our way, of that we can be sure. There is a reason God allows trials and temptations to come into our lives. God knows our maturity level and what decisions we will make in those trying times. He allows those times so we will know where we are spiritually. Most of the time, if not all the time, we find that we have a long way to go to get to where God wants us to be. When the trials come, do we whine and complain or do we accept the situation realizing that God has put us here so we learn to depend on Him? There is nothing more sobering than when we realize that we have done what Peter did when he said he didn’t know Jesus. Oh, I am sure that we would never verbalize that, but what do our actions tell those around us? Like Paul, we should always realize that we are not there yet, but we should be focused on getting there.
 
Philippians 3:12-14 NLT


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

Post 05-21-2017

Unchangeable!

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Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. ​– Hebrews 13:8 NLT

Any time, we hear a message or read a devotional or blog, the first thing that we must be sure of is that it is aligned with the Holy Scripture. God and His Word are not capable of being changed. Any time, we are listening or reading and feel a little tug at our hearts or minds, we need to stop and check the Word. There are different translations of the scriptures, some better than others. But they should all present the same thoughts. If anyone should say that God has given them something to add to His Word, have them read this scripture passage:

Revelation 22:18,19 (GW) 18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy in this book: If anyone adds anything to this, God will strike him with the plagues that are written in this book. 19 If anyone takes away any words from this book of prophecy, God will take away his portion of the tree of life and the holy city that are described in this book.


Our relationship with Jesus Christ does not depend on rituals or the kind of foods we eat. It isn’t the externals, it is what is in our heart. Will we be insulted and offended for our faithfulness? Ask the Christians in Iraq right now. We will have to endure insults just as our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, did.


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

Post 05-18-2017

Weep No More!

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All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is by his great mercy that we have been born again, because God raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Now we live with great expectation  — 1 Peter 1:3 NLT

Because of God’s great mercy, He sent His Son to pay for our redemption. When we accept this fact, we also accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. We are spiritually born again at that very moment. We have our salvation immediately, but we live with great expectation because this is a beginning, there is more to come. We have an inheritance that is kept for us in heaven. God’s Holy Spirit is the earnest payment for that inheritance. And using that portion of faith that God has given to each of us, God is protecting us by His Power until the process of salvation has been completed and revealed on the last day. We are saved by His resurrection power, we are kept by the power of His word and we will arrive at home by His power. In this world, we will be offended and have some trials. We should count it all blessing to be chosen to suffer with our Savior. But on that last day, there will be “joy unspeakable and full of glory”. Praise God in every situation. He inhabits the praises of His people and He is always here with us to carry us through. Salvation and joy, now and forevermore!!!


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

Post 11-05-2016