Rich Toward God

Then one from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.” But He said to him, “Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?” And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.” Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘ What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘ I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.” But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’ “So is he who lays up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.”   Luke 12:13-21

One of Christ’s roles is that of judge of all the earth (For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son. John 5:22)but He did not come to be arbitrator of petty earthly disputes. Settling an inheritance dispute was a matter for civil authorities. Take heed, and beware of covetousness—This is opposite of the popular concept of the world today. As far as the world around you is concerned, a man’s life does consist in the abundance of things that he possesses, and thus, men are trying to amass more things to themselves. But Jesus is declaring that you’ve got to be more careful of covetousness. Because a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of things he possesses. What then does a man’s life consist of ? If it is to glorify God then it will focus on relationships, which are far more important to God than what one posesses. For what profit is it to a man if  he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost?(Luke 9:25). Your relationship being right with God is more important and more valuable than all of the possessions you could ever amass for yourself. It is tragic to think that many men have so lived with that drive for more possessions for themselves not even realize it is driven by covetousness, and greed to have more than anyone else. And because relationships suffer, how many marriages and families are broken apart, because the head of the family, the husband and father is never home, and has neglected his committment to his family. This is not even to say, how many men have driven themselves so hard that they have destroyed their own health? The toll of stress on their bodies takes its mark on the human heart. So with good warning we read those things of which life does consist, life’s consistent relationships, primarily your relationship with God, which will also affect your relationship with others, needs to be guarded against a covetous spirit which will destroy these things.

But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will required of you—Interesting isn’t it, of a man’s opinion of himself. And God’s opinion of him. The rich man’s opinion of himself, “I’ve got it made!” God’s opinion of him was: “Thou Fool!” Notice that this man was only in the dream state, he had yet built his bigger barns, these were only his plans. “As soon as I have bigger barns, as soon as I fill them with all my crops, Then I will be able to say, ‘Ah, take it easy now. Eat! Drink! and be Merry!. But he never did arrive at that place in life. But even if he did live longer, and carried out his plans, it is quite possible that the reality of the very rich is not one of ease, while doing nothing, for very few people arrive there in this life. There is a proverb Solomon wrote about, those things that are never full. And one of those things is that desire, is never full, never satisfied. The leech has two daughters—Give and Give!  There are three things that are never satisfied, Four that never say, “Enough!” : The grave, The barren womb, The earth that is not satisfied with water— And the fire never says, “Enough!” Four illustrations of the greedy are given, all of which are parasitic in nature and characterize the heart of human greed.

Beloved Friend, This is whom the parable is addressed to. People who have been so careful to lay up treasure only for themselves, but are not rich towards God. Their relationship with God has suffered as a result or consequence of their choice to want their reward now. We have to remember as Christians, that our citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20), from which we will be rewarded for all that we have done for the Lord while living here on earth. Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ(Romans 5:1). Life is turbulent. Even keeping our families clothed, a roof over our heads, and food on our tables is constantly a challenge for many of us. Deadlines are hectic bill collectors don’t seem to care about your problems until your late with their payments. Trials come constantly. We need peace and that is what we have in Jesus Christ! Trust in His power of His resurrection and you shall see and know eternal heavenly rest. Rejoice in that rest today! And tell others of that redemptive power that He gives to all who come to Him in faith, and believe in His offer of forgiveness and of our salvation. In doing so, you will be laying up treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasures is, there your heart will be also(Matthew 6:20-21).

May the Lord bless your walk today!



Wisdom Is Justified By All Her Children

And the Lord said, ” To what shall I liken the men of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another, saying: ‘We played the flute for you, And you did not dance; We mourned to you, And you did not weep.’ For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look, a glutton and a winebibber, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ But wisdom is justified by all her children.”

Jesus used strong derision when dealing with the Pharisee’s of His day. Rebuking them for their hypocritical ways of identifying truth, because of their never being able to admit that they were wrong. So Jesus stated they were behaving childishly, determined not to be pleased, whether invited to “dance” a reference to Christ’s joyous ministry, “eating and drinking” with sinners (v.34), or being urged to “weep” a reference to John the Baptist’s call to repentance, and John’s more austere and no nonsense approach to ministry. Eating and drinking—All Jesus meant by this phrase is the ordinary life He lived that enabled Him to interact with the common people of His day. And it made reference to why John’s ministry differed so dramatically from His, though their message was the same. These different styles took away all of the Pharisee’s excuses of rejecting Christ. The very thing they wanted to see in Jesus, the rigid abstinence and Spartan lifestyle which characterized John the Baptist, instead of His meek and humbled approach at reaching out to others, yet, they rejected his message to them too. The real problem existed from the corruption of their own hearts, but they would not acknowledge even that about themselves. True wisdom is vindicated by its consequences, in what it produces in our life.

Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding; For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, and her gain than fine gold. She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her.(Proverbs 3:13-15) Long ago, a young king of Israel, Solomon wrote this proverb, indicating divine wisdom yields the richest treasures in this life, and is profitable at extending one’s life. “Length of days,” “riches,” and “honor,” Solomon was indicating that wisdom is basic to all of life for by it, God created everything. We know from the O.T. that God appeared to Solomon in a dream and offered him the desires of his heart (1 Kings 3:5-15). Instead of asking for personal wealth, a long life, or death of his enemies, Solomon admitted that he felt like a little child who was not up for the challenge of leading a nation entrusted to him. So he asked God for an understanding heart to be a good ruler and judge righteously. God responded by assuring the king that he would get his request and far more. Here is a good point for us to learn by. God is willing to provide wisdom to those who ask out of a heart of humility. Like a little child do we come to our Father in heaven, asking Him for His help, His guidance. Where as these Pharisee’s were acting childish, not acknowledging the truth, when confronted by either John the Baptist or Christ. A ugly prideful behavior that still exists in the heart of man today. Jesus said,” unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”(John 3:3)  A reference here to the participation in the millennial kingdom at the end of the age, fervently anticipated by the Pharisees and other Jews. Their problem was their thinking that keeping the mere religious externals qualified them for entrance into the kingdom rather than the needed spiritual transformation which Jesus emphasized. But in the case of Solomon, what begins well does not always end well. As great as Solomon’s wisdom was, what started as a dream ended like a nightmare. Late in life, he went so far as to build altars to the gods of his pagan wives on the hills overlooking Jerusalem. Although he had been given wisdom to offer justice to others, he ended up needing mercy for himself.

One of the first things we read about the youth of Jesus, the Bible says, as a young man, ” He grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men” (Luke 2:52). What kind of wisdom was Jesus talking about in our beginning text? Who were her children? According to Luke, a religious Pharisee by the name of Simon invited Jesus home for a meal. Later, as they sat together at the man’s table, an unknown woman who had heard that Jesus was there, invited herself in. All Luke tells us about her identity is that she was ” a sinner.”Overwhelmed with emotion, this woman went to her knees at Jesus’ feet, washed His feet with her tears, dried them with her hair, and then poured expensive perfume on His feet. Meanwhile, according to Luke, the Pharisee was thinking to himself that if Jesus were a prophet, He wouldn’t allow Himself to be touched by such a woman. Knowing the man’s heart, Jesus told His host a story about a creditor who mercifully forgave two debtors. One of them had owed far more than the other. With this much of the story told, Jesus asked Simon which of the two debtors would have a greater love for the one who showed mercy to both of them. The Pharisee saw where Jesus was going—Those who are forgiven much, love much; while those who are forgiven little, love little.(Luke 7:47) In these few words, Jesus foreshadowedthe scope of His wisdom. He would go on to win our hearts not merely by His justice but with His mercy. On the very hills that Solomon built altars to false gods, Jesus would offer Himself as the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world(John 1:29).

Beloved friend, We need to remember: Do not fear little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.(Luke 12:32) Having said that, God only requires that we come to Him on His terms. He made the way through His Son, Christ the Lord. By making Him our substitute for sin. When we come to the Lord in humbled confession of our guilt, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Which is wisdom from God indeed.

May the Lord bless your walk with Him!




What Shall I Choose

For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live on in the flesh, this will mean fruit from my labor; yet what shall I choose I cannot tell. For I am hard- pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.  Philippians 1:21-23

Paul the apostle was arrested in Jerusalem, held in prison in Caesarea for two years until he appealed to Caesar and was brought as a prisoner to Caesar in Rome, in order to appeal his case. While he awaited his appearance before Caesar, he was under house arrest. Where for twenty-four hours a day he was chained to one of the Roman guards. Emperor guards whose chief duty was the protection of the emperor in Rome. For two years these guards were chained to Paul on rotation and Paul saw that as a great witness opportunity. Paul’s life lived in complete surrender to Christ, brought many emperor soldiers to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Quite the spectacle as a revival breaks out in Rome in the palace of Caesar, as Paul was awaiting his appearance before Caesar. But Paul never saw himself as a prisoner of Rome, but rather, as a prisoner of Christ. A bondservant of Christ, and in the will of God even though it brought to him imprisonment. Now the church in Philippi took up an offering for him, a generous offering brought to him by Epaphroditus, who on the way became extremely ill and almost died. But this heart felt love offering was brought to Paul, which became the basis for this letter to the Philippians.

Now I ask you, “What would someone notice about you if they were chained to you twenty-four hours a day?” Paul’s life was examined closely by these Roman elite soldiers, and his life was not dictated by his circumstances, Paul was not living for his own comfort, but that of the comfort of others. He saw the life of Christ, and his suffering as an opportunity to witness the grace of God to others. Where you or I would be tempted to complain by our uncomfortable or certainly unfamiliar circumstances, Paul found contentement, because his contentment came in his relationship to Jesus Christ, and not from his own circumstances. ” My circumstances may change, I may be in tough physical circumstances, but my contentment isn’t in that. My contentment is in Jesus! ” This could be Paul’s stance, and this could also be our stance too, as we look for our contentment in our relationship with Jesus, there, we can learn whatever our condition is to be content.

Now in those days those who refuse to confess that Caesar is Lord, would be put to death. But Paul so identified his life with Christ, that even if it brought the sentence of death, he would not be persueded but also considered this his reward. To me, to live is Christ—Here Paul says, is the center of my existence. My life revolves around Him. Many people today, if asked to fill in the blank : To live is _____,Just what would be written here to fill in this space? So many people feel strongly about many things, but Paul here was not even hesistant in what his priority was, Because he said for me to live is Christ, he can also say, and to die is gain(Phl 1:21). You can’t say that if you are living for anything else. We read in the gospel of Luke, Jesus telling His disciples the true cost of discipleship: “If anyone desires to come after Me,  let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and is himself destroyed or lost? For whoever is ashamed of Me and My words, of him the Son of Man will be ashamed when He comes in His own glory, and in His Father’s, and of the holy angels.”Luke 9:23-26  Paul grasped this teaching of Jesus that meant to him, self-denial was a common trait of the follower of Christ. And this self-denial lifestyle included a willingness to obey His commandments, serve one another,and suffer—perhaps even unto death, for Christ’s sake. Meaning that for Paul, life is summed up in Jesus Christ; Christ was his reason for being, and even though death would relieve him of earthly burdens and let him focus totally on glorifying God. Paul knew with certainty the only reason to live and remain in this world was to bring souls to the saving knowledge of Christ, and build-up those believers in his reach to do the same.

Hard pressed—The Greek word pictures a traveler on a narrow path, a rock wall on either side allowing him to go only straight ahead. Paul also knew if he died along the way of this, his chosen life from Christ, he would have complete unhindered fellowship with his Lord. Which is far better—Literally ” very much better ” the highest supelative. Yet Paul yielded even this his personal desire to be with his Lord for the necessity of the building of the church, the body of Christ.

Beloved friend, Many people are seeking after Christ, often from life’s difficult circumstances, yet others are content to keep Him at a distance, knowing that the cost to be His follower demands a willingness to surrender your whole heart and life pursuits to follow Him. Either way, what can we do to help others make their decision for Him without being afraid that it will be too costly, or demand from us much unwanted suffering? I believe the answer is in our choice of what or who we will live for. To live is Christ, when we live for Christ, here in this life, then our gain will be our eternal reward which is to be with Him in heaven. Our gain when we breathe our last breath in this life!

May the Lord bless your walk with Him today!



I Am My Beloved’s

I am my beloved’s, and his desire is toward me. Come my beloved, let us go forth to the field; let us lodge in the villages. Let us get up early to the vineyards; let us see if the vine has budded, whether the grape blossoms are open, and the pomegranates are in bloom. There I will give you my love.  Song of Solomon 7:10-12

The basic interpretation of the Song of Solomon is that this a young Shulamite girl that Solomon has fallen deeply in love with. And she is in love with him. And he addresses himself to her declaring his love and declaring her beauty, and she is responding to him. The Song of Solomon has suffered strained interpretations over the centuries by those who use the “allegorical” method of interpretation, claiming that the song has no actual historical basis, but rather depicts God’s love for Israel and / or Christ’s love for the church. A more satisfying way to approach Solmon’s Song is to take it at face value and interpret it in the normal historical sense, understanding the frequent use of poetry image to depict reality. The Song of Solomon expands on the ancient marriage instructions of Genesis: Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. (2:24) Thus providing spiritual provision for a lifetime of marital harmony. It is given to us by God to demonstrate His intention for the romance and loveliness of marriage, the most precious of human relations and called it the “the grace of life.” (1 Peter 3:7)

I am my beloved’s and his desire is toward me—Now think of this in the church, the body of Christ, and of Jesus Christ’ sacrifice for us, and it becomes beautiful indeed. He loves me! I am my beloved’s and His desire is toward me. Christ desires you. Your love, your response to Him in love. The Bible makes it very clear In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.(1 John 4:9-10) Why do Christians love? To follow the supreme example of God’s sacrificial love in sending His Son for us. Now in my opinion, the love of a husband toward his wife is one of the greatest ways we can demonstrate this type of love. Oh I know the courting and getting to know one another is very important as well. But it is the love of a husband toward his bride that the Song of Solomon was written for us. I feel that God views it that strongly, than so should we. The marital relationship was established as the first human institution. The responsibilty to honor one’s parents (Exodus 20:12) does not cease with leaving to become the union of husband and wife. But does represent the beginning of a new and now primary responsibility, “joined”carries the sense of a permanent or indissoluble union, so that divorce was not considered. “One flesh”speaks of a complete unity of two different parts making now a whole. For example, one cluster of grapes (Numbers 13:23) or One God in Three Persons (Deuteronomy 6:4).

Jesus explains it to us in the New Testament, in Matthew as the Pharisee’s were testing Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” And He answered them. “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therfore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” ( Matthew 19:3-6) Very powerful statement by Jesus as to what our marriages should be about. The edification of love for each other that honors and glorifies God who created it.

Beloved friend, Today is Valentine’s day! We know people are thinking about their sweetheart’s love for them, and in kind, sharing their love for them. Let us honor God in our love for each other. Let us remember the cost of His love for us. He gave His all that we may become His Valentine forever! And has shown it through His everlasting love for us! The Lord has appeared of old to me, saying: “Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore with lovingkindness I have drawn you.”(Jeremiah 31:3)

May the Lord bless your walk!

Dedicated To my beloved wife, J.L.T., the love of my heart! Everlasting! Happy Valentine’s Day!



Genuine Christian

Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil, cling to what is good. Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer, distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.  Romans 12:9-13

The supreme New Testament virtue love centers completely on the needs and welfare of the one loved and does whatever necessary to meet those needs. Paul emphasizes Let love be without hypocrisy—Meaning let it be not a put on, or act, but let it be genuine. Christian love is to be shown purely and sincerely, without self-centeredness or guile. Abhor what is evil—The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way, and the perverse mouth I hate (Proverbs 8:13). One of the things God said of Job is that he hates evil. He said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? He fears God and hates evil.” (Job 1:8) The fear of the Lord is to hate evil, so we should abhor that which is evil. And at the same time Cling to what is good—Cleave, stick to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honor preferring one another—To be devoted to other Christians with a family sort of love is so greatly needed in the church today. A love for the brethren that is not based on any personal attraction or desirability, nor is it of a covetous nature. Others centered love enables a primary way for the world to see Christ’ life and love in believers. It is a way to show genuine appreciation and admiration for fellow believers by putting them first in Christ’s name.

Not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord—Whatever is worth doing in the Christian life is valuable enough to be done with enthusiasm and care: For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.(Hebrews 6:10-12) The unbelieving world will take notice when genuine Christian love is being shown to all people, all we can do is give God our best, and leave the rest of its outcome in His hands. For slothful work, or indifference not only prevent good, but allow evil to prosper. Fervent in spirit—Literally means “to boil in spirit,” This phrase suggests having plenty of heat to produce adequate productive energy, and yet it is self-controlled. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things of the Lord, though he only knew the baptism of John. (Acts 18:25) This was a great example of how a person (in this case, Apollos) can be taught the way of the Lord, and being fervent in spirit, share the things he has learned, though not all of its meaning be fully known to him.

Rejoicing in hope—Of Christ’s return and ultimate redemption is our hope as believers. One day God will call His church home. And we will be caught upto be with the Lord forever (1 Thessalonians 4:17). For God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with Him.(1 Thessalonians 5:9-10) Awesome promise from God, that whether being physically alive or have died in faith, we will one day live together with our Savior Jesus Christ who died for us as the substitute for our sins. Patient in tribulationA word used for pressure, like that of a press squeezing the fluid from olives or grapes. Here they’re referring to not the normal pressures of everyday living, but the inevitable troubles that come to followers of Christ because of their relationship to Him. Steadfastly in prayer—One of the benefits of Christian fiery trials is in a developed prayer life that becomes stronger with testing of our faith. Our prayer life becomes less superficial and more real to what our real needs are. Take a look at the Psalms, see some of the most heart felt prayers of David, when he was being tormented by his enemies. Quite indeed eye opening as what God would have us to also be like, when we come to Him in prayer.

Distributing to the needs, given to hospitality—The word distributingis from a Greek word that means “Commonality, partnership, or mutual sharing,” which often translated “fellowship,” and “communion.” Where given to hospitality—Literally means “pursuing the love of strangers” Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.(Hebrews 13:2) Hospitality in the ancient world often included putting up a guest overnight or longer. In the New Testament traveling was dangerous, but fellow believers have the commonality with Christ, and thus often shared their home and food. With God calling us to real sincere genuine love, Christian hospitality differs from that of social status, or economic  background. It focuses on the guest and their primary needs. It doesn’t matter whether its with a banquet of food, or a can of soup, whether there is ample room or not, it’s all in the attitude of genuine Christian love that honors the Lord, by allowing our often meager resources to bless others.

Beloved friend, Our world is in great need of Christian hospitality. How can we show them the love of Christ today? Look to the Lord and ask Him to show you someone whom you might be able to bless. It will truly make a difference in your world.

May the Lord bless your walk with Him today!


A True Statement

Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Some of those who stood there, when they heard that said, “This Man is calling for Elijah!” Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink. The rest said, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save Him. And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. Then behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the graves after His reserrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!”  Matthew 27:45-54

What a declaration! These were not the words coming from cowering fearful men, but rather a seasoned veteran soldier, who was in charge of many other soldiers, who had seen many men die horrible deaths, in fact was responsible for putting them to death for years. Obviously the centurion was deeply moved by the events he had witnessed, and his only conclusion would be to recognize the deity of Christ. This centurion was well aware of the strong condemnation of the Jewish religious leaders that had put Jesus on the cross for making the claim to be the Son of God. Seeing his own commander-in-chief, Pontius Pilate, uphold the conviction for Jesus’ making that claim. But what he saw, what he witnessed as  Jesus hung on that cross, far out weighed any evidence contrary than to what Jesus had said, and he found overwhelming Christ’s claim to be true. A true statement indeed. This man witnessed and oversaw many crucifixions by now, yet, there was something different, something was extraordinarly different about this particular execution. There are several scenes from the events of Jesus’ arrest, trial, and crucifixion that combine evidence of why it was so different. The arrest—In that hour Jesus said to the multitudes, “Have you come out, as against a robber, with swords and clubs to take Me? I sat daily with you in the temple, and you did not seize Me. But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled” Then all the disciples forsook Him and fled. ( Matthew 26:55-56) Jesus did not put up a fight. Nor did He try and defend His actions during His trial: ” Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest answered and said to Him, ” I put You under oath by the living God: Tell us if You are the Christ, the Son of God!” Jesus said to him, ” It is as you said. Nevertheless, I say to you, hereafter you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.” Then the high priest tore his clothes, saying, ” He has spoken blasphemy! What further need do we have of witnesses? Look, now you have heard His blasphemy! What do you think? They answered and said, ” He is deserving of death. Then they spat in His face and beat Him; and others struck Him with the palms of their hands, saying, ” Prophecy to us, Christ! Who is the one who struck You? ” (Matthew 26: 62-67)

The only true statement was made was the very one which infuriated these so called high priests, the religious leaders of their day, who were so blinded by their religious stance of upholding the law of Moses, that they couldn’t see Jesus as the promised Messiah. Their response—Jesus was turned over to the centurion and his men who would then merciless beat Jesus: Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him. And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head. And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified.(Matthew 27:27-31) The mercy of Jesus toward the people who rejected Him and the soldiers that crucified Him, including the centurion, was what I believed tipped the scale. Luke records it for us in his gospel: There were also two other criminals, led with Him to be put to death. And when they had come to that place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said, ” Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”(Luke 23:32-34)

The Response—The first century Jews were expecting a Messiah who would overthrow their oppressive Roman occupiers. Jesus Christ, however, had come to overthrow the power and oppression of sin and death. They saw first hand the supernatural phenomena suddenly appear as Jesus gave up His spirit with a loud voice and died. The centurion was understandably shocked by the significant events that accompanied the death of Christ. In all of his military experiences of gruesome exposure of death, he had never seen such things before. And the impact on him was inescapable. ” Truly, this was the Son of God! “The meaning of this statement has to be, Is that Jesus must have been what He claimed to be! They could not come to this conclusion because they heard an announcement from an angelic messenger or prophet, but solely from the effects of the power of the cross!

Beloved friend, Jesus as the promised Messiah and Son of God is seen most clearly in His passion and death. How ironic that the religious leaders mocked Him with the title (vv.41-44) and the Roman centurion now confessed Him. It is the power of the cross and the love of God displayed there that moves the hearts of men, even the most hardened, battle weary heart of a career soldier, that from death to eternal life. The saying “The ground is always level at the foot of the cross” is so true here. It was in the first century, and still is today. The men and women who witnessed the trial, crucifixion, death and resurrection of Christ saw more than words can ever express. What they actually heard we can only imagine? But what they saw in their lifetime we have seen through the Scriptures, and the results are amazingly the same. Though we may not have seen Jesus physically, we can see Him in the pages of Scripture, and find the solid ground for belief in the way of salvation. “So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17)

May the Lord bless your walk today!




The Christian Home

Wives, submit to your own husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them. Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord. Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged. Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eye service, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God. And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ. But he who does wrong will be repaid for what he has done, and there is no partiality.  Colossians 3:18-25

Paul here is concluding the character traits of the New Man, and is saying, and now in regards to relationships within the home. Now, if you think you’ve read this before, you’re right, Paul did go over this in Ephesians, in writing to the Christians there at Ephesus, and here in our text, God is giving us very straight forward and very simple rules for marriage and the raising of families, and is also correlating something very profound. The integrity that is needed in the work place, is connected to the integrity in the home. Let’s take a closer look. The first two rules Paul is giving us has to do with first the wife, then followed by the husband. And if we’ll follow after these rules we indeed can enjoy a very happy and spiritually prosperous marriage. But the consequences of violating these rules, will bring along with it misery into the marriage relationship. By remembering v.25; there is no partiality with the Lord. To the wife, submit to your own husband, as is fitting in the Lord. The Greek word for ” submit ” means ” to subject oneself ” which denotes willingly putting oneself under someone or something. How do I go about this, you may ask? Remember v.23-24  And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.While our country is deciding on whether women should be allowed to serve in combat, for you Christian women, you are already in combat! The spiritual battle that is going on against you, is that you do not need to submit to any man’s authority, and that you have rights too! The enemy Satan, would love for you to continue in your thinking that you do not need any man to have authority over you. Certainly not the failings of a husband to that has no likeness to Jesus Christ. Key word here is as to the Lord. Knowing also, that you will receive a reward of the inheritance for the home your building with your husband. Marriage is meant to honor and glorify God. Why else is it so always under attack!

Husbands, love your wives and do not be bitter toward them—This is the highest form of love which renders unselfishly the way Christ loves the church. God knows that the greatest need a woman has is to know that she is loved, and that she is loved supremely. For when she knows that she is loved supremely, she is secure, and with her security, she then finds it easy to submit to him. She is secure in her husbands love for her, and does not doubt his love for her. Christians should never doubt that God loves them. Jesus Christ, is God’s act of love to us. As the wife submits the husband finds it easier to show her his love for her, and thus creating the atmosphere of a marriage that obeys God’s command to love one another. Well, anyone who is married knows, it is extremely difficult to always have this type of love and commitment. So we must rely upon the Holy Spirit in the marriage to help keep us on track, and keep us in rememberance, that we are doing all this, as unto Jesus, and not unto men. Children, obey your parents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord—Here we find the reason God is well pleased. The only limit on a child’s obedience is when parents put demands on them that is contrary to God’s Word. Leading up to blocking the way to coming to the Lord. God takes great pleasure in seeing little ones recite Scripture, and learn Biblical truths, and as they are developing to maturity, they have a clear understanding of their need for salvation. For it’s easier to build a boy, then to mend a man. Meaning, Parents, you have a huge role in the developing of your childrens understanding of who God is.

Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged—It’s so easy to discourage your children through unreasonable demands. Yet, God isn’t like that to us. The Bible tells us: To present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which your reasonable service ( Romans 12:1 ), It is reasonable God says of us to do. Isn’t it interesting how we want our children not to make the same mistakes that we made. How we want them to be better than we were. If were not careful, we will be placing unreasonable demands on them, that puts so much pressure on them to perform at a level that you were never made to perform at, what makes us think they should have to as well. So Fathers, don’t place the weight of discouragement on your children. The Lord can show you how to have that balance of not letting your children experience life too early, yet, not be so overbearing on them that you set them on the pathways a discouraging road in raising them.

Bondservants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh, not with eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but in sincerity of heart, fearing God—You know the greatest gift you can give your family, is the continued whole-hearted devotion to the Lord. Then they will see dad’s commitment to Christ, which means that I don’t steal from my employer, in time rendered in which I am expected to be at my job, work my job to the best of my ability etc. It honors the Lord, and gives others the encouragement to give their best as well. It enables superiors in the work place to be able to trust you in a wide variety of responsibilities, increasing your monetary gain so you can support your families. Mom’s too. Many working mom’s have to juggle the home and work life to sustain the families income. When we do all of our work as to the Lord, it brings glory to God, and blesses the home as well.

Beloved friend, Today our marriages and homelife is constantly under attack. The enemy would love for us to think that we cannot do this anymore, that we might as well give up. We need the strong whole hearted devotional life to the Lord to finish our race. The workplace must be unto the Lord, and not unto men. Not hypocritical men-pleasers, but solid biblical thinking Christians who are confident in working even if it’s considered the most menial jobs, as to the Lord. So when you are home with your families, you can enjoy the blessing that God has given us: When you eat the labor of your hands, you shall be happy, and it shall be well with you. Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine in the very heart of your house, your children like olive plants all around your table. Behold, thus shall the man be blessed who fears the Lord.( Psalm 128:2-4)

May the Lord bless your walk today!