God spoke to Noah and told him to build an ark for his family because God was going to send a flood on the earth to destroy it completely. At this time, the earth was watered with dew from the ground, There had never been a rain, nevertheless, Noah obeyed God and built the ark. Because Noah was faithful to be obedient, he, his family and the animals were saved to renew the earth after the flood. Abram was 75 years old and had no idea where Canaan was when God told him to leave his home in Haran and go to a land that God had promised him. Abram was renamed Abraham which means “the father of many”. Although Abraham made many mistakes, he always returned to his trust and faith in God. Because of his faithfulness, he was able to purchase a burial plot in the land of Canaan and years later, Moses, then Joshua, led the children of Israel to the Promised Land.
20 I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. — Galatians 2:20 NIV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous
Jesus suffered many things in His walk here on earth. He was exposed to every temptation that we are exposed to but never sinned. Again, we sometimes forget that Jesus was completely human when he suffered these temptations. We need to be very careful in assuming that Jesus did not sin because He was all God as well as all man. He suffered as a human. His sufferings taught Him obedience because he was totally submitted to the will of His Father. We might say that Jesus knew He was going to be tempted and suffer here on earth, so He had an advantage. But if we read, study and really believe the Scriptures, we also know that we are going to suffer. The difference is that we often give into the desires of the flesh rather than trust our Father to deliver us. Suffering is not to let God know what our response will be, He already knows. It is so that we will know where we are in our walk with God. Our sufferings are not to be avoided, they are to be embraced. Testing and temptations are stepping stones to maturity and to help us become more intimate with Jesus.
2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.– James 1:2-4 NIV
17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. 18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.— Romans 8:17, 18 NIV
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
God never tempts us. So, if God isn’t tempting us, then where do those temptations originate? That’s right, they come from our fleshly desires and from satan. We know that satan was allowed to tempt Jesus with promises of wealth and grandeur. Jesus, being human, yet perfect, did not give in to those temptations. Why? Because Jesus had one desire and that was to please our Father, God. We are not perfect, so when satan tempts us with his beautiful pictures of what could be if we only let him in, we give into those temptations. Why? Because our fleshly desires are stronger and more immediate than our desire to please God. We are enticed and we allow our desires to mislead us. We think that we can turn our desires off and on like a water fountain. But, we find that once we have compromised with satan, we lose control. Then that sinful idea or thought starts to happen more often and soon it takes on a life of its own. So, we grab a little pleasure here and a little pleasure there. Suddenly, those little pleasures have grabbed us and we can’t shake them. That is when sin latches onto us, takes us further than we want to go, and keeps us longer than we want to stay. Pride says “I would never”. But reality says we did and we must confess our sins.
35 Then the two from Emmaus told their story of how Jesus had appeared to them as they were walking along the road, and how they had recognized him as he was breaking the bread.36 And just as they were telling about it, Jesus himself was suddenly standing there among them. “Peace be with you,” he said.37 But the whole group was startled and frightened, thinking they were seeing a ghost! — Luke 24:35-37 NLT Appearances
All day Sunday and Sunday night, Jesus appeared to different people. As He revealed to each who He was, they were frightened. The truth of all the things that Jesus had told them had still not become a reality to them. Though for the better part of three years, Jesus had taught them in an effort to prepare them for His death and resurrection, it was still hard to accept the truth–Jesus is alive! Could this really be Jesus resurrected from the tomb? Yes, it must be so!
Looking back from this side of the cross, it would be very easy for us to criticize the disciples for their slowness to accept the truth. It would be very easy for us to say, “how could they not believe?” Yet, today when Jesus reveals Himself to us through the Holy Spirit, aren’t we just as slow to accept the Gospel as the truth? Aren’t we just as doubtful? Could this story really be true? Does such love exist? We have an abundance of information, both Biblical and historical, that these events occurred just as they are recorded in the Gospels. We have three witnesses, one of which the disciples didn’t have at this time and would not have until after Jesus ascended. Our mission is to spread the Good News knowing that the Holy Spirit will confirm it as the Truth.
35 When Jesus heard what had happened, he found the man and said,”Do you believe in the Son of Man?” 36 The man answered, “Who is he, sir, because I would like to.” 37 “You have seen him,” Jesus said, “and he is speaking to you!” 38 “Yes, Lord,” the man said, “I believe!” And he worshiped Jesus. 39 Then Jesus told him, “I have come to judge the world. I have come to give sight to the blind and to show those who think they see that they are blind.” 40 The Pharisees who were standing there heard him and asked, “Are you saying we are blind?” 41 “If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty,” Jesus replied. “But you remain guilty because you claim you can see.—John 9:35-41 (NLT)
Although, we cannot now see Jesus physically, we can see Jesus in a spiritual sense because the Holy Spirit opens our spiritual eyes to the reality of who Jesus is. Then we realize, as the former blind man did, that not only can we see the reality of Jesus but that He is speaking to us as well. Hopefully, our reaction will be the same as this man’s was. We will believe and worship Jesus as our Savior and Lord. Jesus not only opens the eyes of those who are physically blind, but He wants to open the eyes of all of us who are/were spiritually blind. If we are asking the same question as the Pharisees that were there that day, we should carefully consider the answer that Jesus gave them to their question. “If you were blind, you wouldn’t be guilty, but you remain guilty because you claim you can see.” There are many religions in today’s world, all claiming to have the truth, but no religion has the truth. We can only know the truth once we establish a relationship with Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit leads us into all truth. Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.—John 14:6 (NLT)
13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.–-John 16:13 (NLT)