Death of a Love One

Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: “They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.” Sitting down, they kept watch over Him there. And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.  Matthew 27:35-37

Now there would be a square of Roman soldiers who would surround the accused prisoner who was going to the cross. And the sergeant of the group would carry a little sign, and on that sign was written the accusation against the prisoner. And they would not take them directly to the cross, but rather walk through the streets of the city, so that all of the people would be terrified by the power of the Roman government. And the fellow would hold up the accusation as they were walking through the streets, and all of the people would see this guy on the way to the cross, they would see the accusation made against him. So when they came to the cross, they would nail the accusation on the post going up on the top of it, so that the people would know this man was being crucified, because ____of these crimes. And of course in the case of Jesus, He claimed to be according to His accusations, the King of the Jews.  When in all actuality He is King of kings, and Lord of lords (Revelation 19:16). Crucifixion was a form of punishment that had been passed down to the Romans from the Persians, Phoenicians, and the Carthaginians. Roman executioners had perfected the art of slow torture while keeping the victim alive. Most victims hung on the cross days before dying of exhaustion, dehydration, and traumatic exposure. When the legs could no longer support their weight the bodies diaphragm was constricted in a way that made breathing impossible. And thus suffocation would be their cause of death.

After this, Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, “I thirst!” Now a vessel full of sour wine was sitting there; and they filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on hyssop, and put it to His mouth. So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit. Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and they might be taken away. Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and other who was crucified with Him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. For these things were done that the Sc ripture should be fulfilled, “Not one of His bones shall be broken.” And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.”  John 19:28-37

Having taken care of His mother (John 19:25-27), Jesus, knowing that all things were now accomplished—It is paid! God the Father’s work is complete! Jesus said, “I came not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. I have come to do the will of the Father, and to finish the work. It is finished!”—God’s work of redemption for lost man is a finished work wrought by Jesus Christ upon the cross, there is nothing you can do to add to it by your good works to be accepted by God. All that is required of us is to receive it as the finished work of Jesus. Any endeavor on your part to improve on the righteousness that God has already accounted to you is only going to mar things, it’s not going to help. It’s finished, God’s work of redemption is complete. And you can receive the greatest benefits with the simplest act of faith, just believe in Him.

Within the Passover feast, the first and last day of the Passover feast were called the high days, extra Sabbath days. So, this was not necessarily the traditional Sabbath Saturday. Here is where confusion was made: “How could Jesus be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth if He were crucified on Friday?”

He gave up His spirit—This sentence signaled that Jesus “handed over” His spirit as an act of love, yielding His will to the Father’s. No one took it from Him, for He voluntarily and willingly gave it up. He truly is the greatest love of all of mankind, and His death culminated His demonstration of His love for us. Jesus Christ, God’s Passover Lamb, endured darkness and death to give us light and life. Why is He so worthy of our Praise? It is clear when we read the Scriptures of what He has endured for us, Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. (Hebrews 12:2-3)  For Jesus to be now sitting at the right hand of the Father, is another indication of His finished work of the cross. He suffered the misery and shame of Roman crucifixion and therefore can sympathize with any human suffering. People today, should never think that they have gone too far without Him in their life that there is no hope left. If we will turn in repentance towards Him, He is faithful and will forgive your sin. We must look to Him, and the death of our beloved Savior as God the Father’s willingness to bring us to Him in true righteousness, and receive eternal life.

Beloved friend, The Scriptures tell us, If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17). We need the reminders that we who are in Christ, have died to sin, it is no longer needed to be our taskmaster. We need to die to self daily, take up our cross, and follow Jesus. We love ourselves too much if we are out of this order. Death of a loved one must begin with self.

May the Lord bless your walk with Him today!








Whom Are You Seeking?

When Jesus had spoken theses words, He went with His disciples over the Brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which He and His disciples entered. And Judas, who betrayed Him, also knew the place; for Jesus often met there with His disciples. Then Judas, having received a detachment of troops, and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, came there with lanterns, torches, and weapons. Jesus therefore, knowing all things that would come upon Him, went forward and said to them, “Whom are you seeking?” They answered Him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am He.” And Judas who betrayed Him, also stood with them. Now when He said to them, “I am He,”  they drew back and fell to the ground. Then He asked them again, “Whom are you seeking?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.”  Jesus answered, “I have told you that I am He, therefore, if you seek Me, let these go there way,” that the saying might be fulfilled which He spoke, “Of those whom You gave Me I have lost none.” Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant’s name was Malchus. So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into the sheath. Shall I not drink the cup which My Father has given Me?”  John 18:1-11

Here we see Jesus had just finished His prayer to the Father, (John 17) He now crosses the Brook Kidron with His disciples that He might go over to a place on the Mount of Olives, where Jesus went often with His disciples to a garden known as Gethsemane. Jesus’ supreme courage is seen in His determination to go to the cross, where the events of His arrest and trial receive emphasis in this chapter. John’s purpose was to present Jesus as the Messiah and Son of God, he skillfully shows us through all the humiliation, and debasing shameful acts that were directed toward Jesus, that these events rather than detracting from His person and mission, actually constitute decisive evidence confirming who He was and the reason for which He came. Now the Passover lamb had to be eaten by no less than ten people. As Jesus crossed over with His disciples, no doubt He was thinking of all those lambs that were sacrificed for the Passover. Jesus is well aware of His life as being the “Lamb of God” who could take away the sins of the world.

Judas, who betrayed Him—A full auxiliary cohort had the potential strength of 1,000 men, combining foot-soldiers, with officers. Roman auxiliary troops were usually stationed at Caesarea, but during the feast days were gathered in the Antonia Fortress, NW of the temple perimeter incase mob rioting  might break out as such an large population filled Jerusalem. Interesting thought is, even with all those men, armed with lanterns, torches, and weapons, They were still no match for Jesus, by merely stating His name, “I am He” a designation He had used before declaring Himself God (John 8:28) power came out of Him that literally knock over  Judas, and the soldiers with him. Even Peter, who is standing with the Lord, trying to defend Jesus, a sword in his hand is not a useful weapon. We need to see as Christians today, that God has given us power from on high that is more powerful than any earthly weapon. Prayer to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who is our Advocate to the Father, is more powerful than any human attempt of trying to defend yourself. The Bible says, “Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.” (2 Chronicles 20:15) This referring to OT battle against King Jehosphat, king of Judah, who after hearing of a great army multitude gathered, and  coming against them, sought the Lord in prayer. And this is the Lord’s answer. The New Testament also has many reminders for us as well: You are of God little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4). So Jesus knowing all things (v.4) would have known these things as well. But He would not resist His arrest in order to fulfill the Father’s will that He would go the cross. I have lost none—Jesus was saying that He protected the disciples from being arrested so He would not lose any of them, thus fulfilling the promises He made earlier in His prayer to His Father (John 17:12).  All believers are weak and vulnerable if not protected by the Lord.

Drink the cup—Peter’s impetuous bravery in (v.10) was not only misguided, but exhibited failure to understand the centrality of the death that Jesus came to die. The “cup” in the Old Testament is associated with suffering and especially judgment.

Beloved friend, The grace of God will carry anyone of us through any difficulties of life. Prophetically, Scripture stated that Judas would betray Christ, But we see the grace upon Peter to restore him to Christ after denying Him three times. Anyone who believes in Him as their Lord and Savior will be saved. The Word of God transforms us, convicts us our sins, and need of forgiveness, then enables us to walk in the freedom of forgiveness being redeemed by the blood of Christ. The Bible declares We then, workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says: “In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation. (2 Corinthians 6:1-2)

May the Lord Bless Your Walk With Him Today!



The Coming King

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.  Zechariah 9:9

Unlike Alexander the Great, this King comes riding on a donkey, and was fulfilled at Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem. The Jews should have been looking for someone from the line of David, but missed it due to their hardness of their hearts. Notice there are four elements in this verse that describe the Messiah’s character: 1st) He is King; 2nd) He is just; 3rd) He brings salvation; 4th) He is humble. Let us take a closer look.

The Triumphal entry—Now when they drew near Jerusalem, and came to Bethphage, at the Mount of Olives, then Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately you will find a donkey tied, and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to Me. And if anyone says anything to you, you shall say, ‘ The Lord has need of them,’ and immediately he will send them.” (Matthew 21:1-3) Having just arrived in Bethphage, Jesus would have had no time or opportunity to make arrangements for the use of these animals. Yet He knew exactly, precisely their location and even the dispostion of its owners. Such detailed foreknowledge reveals His divine omniscience.

All this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: “Tell the daughter of Zion, Behold, your King is coming to you, Lowly, and sitting on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.’ ”  So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them. They brought the donkey and the colt, laid their clothes on them, and set Him on them. And a very great multitude spread their clothes on the road; others cut down branches from trees and spread them on the road. Then the multitude went before and those who followed cried out, saying: “Hosanna to the Son of David! ‘ Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’ Hosanna in the highest! “ And when He had come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, “Who is this?” So the multitudes said, “This is Jesus, the prophet from Nazareth of Galilee.”  (Matthew 21:4-11)

The exact quotation from Zechariah 9:9, indicates the exact time of the fulfillment of this Messianic prophecy and would not have escaped the Jewish multitudes, who responded with titles and accolades reserved for only the Messiah. Matthew is the only gospel writer who mentions the mare donkey. But all four gospels mention the young age of the donkey, or state that no man ever sat on this animal. Spread their clothes on the road—Spreading one’s garments on the street was an ancient act of homage reserved for high royalty. Which in this case, suggested that they recognized His claim to be King of the Jews. Hosanna—This transliterates the Hebrew expession which is translated “Save now.”

The stone which the builders rejected Has become the chief cornerstone. This was the Lord’s doing; It is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. Save now, I pray, O Lord; O Lord, I pray send now prosperity. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We have blessed you from the house of the Lord. (Psalm 118:22-26)  Peter identified the chief cornerstone in the New testament as Christ (Acts 4:11; 1Peter 2:7). The day of deliverance and/ the day the stone was made the chief cornerstone, which they now celebrate—This is the Lord’s doing.  Save now I pray—This becomes “Hosanna” These were the words shouted by the crowd to Christ at His triumphal entry to Jerusalem. Then just days latter, they rejected Him because He did not provide what they thought should be militarily or politically deliverance from Roman government.

Beloved friend, the date of Jesus triumphal entry in Jerusalem was Monday, 10 Nisan, A.D. 30, exactly 483 years after the decree of Artaxerxes mentioned in Daniel 9:24-26. The Jewish calendar days began at 6pm in the evenings till 6pm the next day. So this explains the Palm Sunday events today. Be blessed in your reading and understanding of the Scriptures. God is not hiding anything from us about learning the events of the Lord’s passion week. They are there for our learning so we can have the confidence in our salvation delivered to us by the death of Jesus Christ on the cross at Calvary. Though He chose the humble entry, He will come again, this time as our conquering King!

May the Lord bless your Palm Sunday!

God’s Chosen Time

Now it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, that He said to His disciples, “You know that after two days is the Passover, and the Son of Man will be deliverd up to be crucified.” Then the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders of the people assembled at the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas, and plotted to take Jesus by trickery and kill Him. But they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar among the the people.  Matthew 26:1-5

Now this is interesting, because this apparently was on Monday, that Jesus gave the Olivet discourse (Matthew 24:3-51). He had made His triumphant entry on Sunday, which is known as Palm Sunday, and then the next day He came back into the temple. And He had been there the day before and cleansed the wrong things set up there. He drove out the moneychangers. Now the next day He came back to the temple and the scribes and the priests all said, “By what authority?” and they challenged Him on the issue. And as they were leaving the temple they said, “Lord, what will be the sign of Your coming, and the destruction of the temple?” And Jesus gave this Olivet discourse (Matthew 24:1).

Passover—This was God’s chosen time for Christ to die. He was to become the ultimate Passover Lamb from God for the forgiveness of sins. Now as He finished the discourse, He said to His disciples, “You know in two days its going to be the feast of the Passover, and the Son of man is to be betrayed, to be crucified.” Now if He was saying this on Monday, it meant that the feast of the Passover in two days would of course be on Wednesday. And Jesus was crucified on the feast day, the feast of Passover. So it would appear that Jesus was probably crucified on Wednesday, which would then give you the three days, and the three nights in the heart of the earth. People have an awful hard time figuring that from a Sunday aspect, from a Friday crucifixion to a Sunday morning resurrection. Nonetheless, the Scripture is clear, so after two days, the feast of the Passover and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified. Until now, Jesus had always avoided His enemies plots to kill Him (Luke 4:29-30) but now it was His time, the true Lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world would now be led into the hands of His enemies to be tried and found guilty, and be condemned to die.

Caiaphas—Actually there were two high priests, Caiaphas and Annas. Caiaphas of the appointment of Roman government, and Annas the accepted one from the religious people of their day. And these two consulted that they might take Jesus by subtlety, and kill him. But they said, Not on the feast day, lest their fellow Jews would cause an uproar. The sovereignty of God, The Bible makes it clear There is no wisdom or understanding or counsel against the Lord. (Proverbs 21:30) And we read in the New Testament,  Jesus said to His disciples, “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I received from My Father.” (John 10:17-18)  The Jewish leaders were eager to kill Jesus, were also doing their best to keep this from happening on the feast day, and yet, not realizing that in order to fulfill the prophecies of the Old Testament, it was important that Jesus be crucified as the Lamb of God on the feast day. So they were trying to avoid the feast day, but there was no way that they could, because God had sovereignly appointed the day in which He would remember that the Lamb was slain in order to save the first born. So Jesus, as the Lamb of God establishing now a new covenant of God with people. It was important that it be on the day that commemorated the Passover lamb, Jesus Christ our Passover lamb suffering for us.

It is so important for us to see that God is sovereignly in control over every circumstance in our world today. At the fullness of His perfect timing, He sent Jesus Christ into our world, born of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14) Jesus is fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem (Micah 5:2). God knows also our future , rules over every circumstance and cares for us in ways that are far beyond our understanding. This is the start of the passion week of Christ, people from all over the world will be thinking of Christ’s death on the cross. When Jesus died, He shared in what all of us must experience. But far beyond that, He did what none of us can do. He paid the price for our sins even though He was without sin (2 Corinthians 5:21) that we might be forgiven and have eternal life through faith in Him. So in other words, Jesus died so we might live. This was at the needed chosen time of God. And of course, at the needed prophetically chosen time, Jesus rose from the grave. Today, we can remember with other believing Christians our Savior’s selfless path to the cross, remembering our sin debt was paid by His shed blood,  then in tremendous joy, give thanks to God our Father, for His resurrected risen Son!   Amazing grace indeed.

May the Lord bless your walk with Him this week!

Godly Influence

Children’s children are the crown of old men, and the glory of children is their father.  Proverbs 17:6

I know Father’s day is a few months away, but I want to share a viewpoint I feel is very important in our society today. That is, godly influence generates mutual love and respect in a family home, which extends from generation to generation. Let me show you what I mean. First off, we can learn that the Bible gives us wisdom that is very practical, that is just as relevent today when it is applied, as it was some 2000, years ago when it was first written. Here in our text, it is the earthly dad, the father and leader in a family that God’s Word says He is using to have an influence for righteousness, that is godliness that is seen in demonstration both in words and in deeds. The Proverbs has alot to say about children listening to their parents, in particular their father’s advice. An acknowledgement of God, and not just to acknowledge Him as God, but to get to know Him, the God of your father. King David gave counsel at the end of his reign as king over Israel to his son Solomon, as he was about to take his place as king over Israel: “Know the God of your father, and serve Him with a loyal heart and with a willing mind; for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts.”  (1 Chronicles 28:9)  David seen the need of reminding his son, Solomon, do not neglect your spiritual devotion to the Lord your God. What great practical advice! Our kids need the reminder’s that God is interested in their lives. And not just to make an appearance in church at Christmas and Easter. Because to have a genuine everyday relationship with the Lord, it must be given a higher priority. Okay, so where does a father begin to start living this way? Or perhaps they might say, I’ve tried once before, but now that they’re older, they don’t seem interested anymore. The Bible tells us: Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving. (Colossians 4:2) The Greek word means “to be courageously persistent” or “to holdfast and not let go” and refers to be persistent in prayer. Fathers have to be persistent in praying for their families. They have to be strong in Christ’s power, in Christ’s love for their children and demonstrate the courage that it takes to say noto the sinful and harmful things of this world. Today in our world, we’ve learned how to split the atom, how to harness nuclear energy, but very few of us have learned how to develop fully the power of prayer, which is taught from rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). We have not learned that a man is more powerful on his knees in prayer, than behind the most powerful weapons ever developed. And we you get a whole nation of men in the church, Christian dads, all united in prayer for their children, and grandchildren, you’ll have a nation that has become a nation of respect by an Almighty God! Our problems in the family home are spiritual, and only spiritual solutions will solve them. By praying for Christ to fill them with His Holy Spirit, and with His love, so there won’t be room enough for the world’s influences.

Honor your father and your mother— The key to societal stability is reverence and respect for parents and their authority. This designation was given by God in the Ten Commandments, as the command with promise: ” That it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.” (Ephesians 6:3)  God says there is a special blessing for those who obey this command. Our culture today is not having any of this way of thinking to be a part of their lives. Why? I believe without the Word of God properly taught, a man or a woman will not ever begin to think of what influences their lives are making on the next generation. Meaning God’s Word, the Bible says: So shall My Word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But is shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. (Isaiah 55:11) The Word of God will produce its intended results in fulfilling God’s spiritual purposes, especially the establishment of His kingdom one day on earth in the millenial reign.

Jesus said, “If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpian? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” (Luke 11:11-13).  If earthly fathers give what their sons need, will not God the Father give even more of His Spirit to empower them? To affirm them indeed, as His anointed and special people on the earth. The family will always represent God on the earth. The marriage of one man and one woman to one another, to raise their family to know the Lord their God, will always be what all the hatred that fills this world to rebel and do what they want to do instead. Why? Because they will not submit to the authority of the Word of God. All that is left then, is the coming judgment for disobeying God’s commands. Yet, for the Christian saint, and their families, they always will have hope, because of the promises of God to always show Himself strong on behalf of the humble.

Beloved friend, Look for those teachable moments to share with your families the love of Christ, to show them His concern for the things that concern them. Always be alert and be praying for the Lord to use you as a godly influence, even to your children’s children. Your grandchildren are a great reward!

In His Love and service, May the Lord bless your walk today!



Out of My Father’s Hand

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. I and My Father are one.  John 10:27-29

In our text today, there is clearly the indication that God has chosen His sheep and it is they who believe for their salvation and new life in Christ, who follow Him. You know when I read this statement made by Jesus, It makes me so thankful that I am one of His sheep. What a glorious assurance this brings me no matter what kind of day I’m having. To be one of His sheep, to have heard His voice, to have responded, to follow Him. To have received His offer of eternal life, realizing that I will never perish and no man, or Satanic weapon force, can pluck me out of His hand, who’s hand? My Father in heaven’s hand. That’s just glorious! The security of Jesus’ sheep rests in Him as the Good Shepherd who has power to keep them safe. Neither thieves and robbers (10:8) nor the wolf (v.12) can harm them. Then we read in verse 29, that the Father stands behind the sheep’s security, for no one is able to steal from God, who is sovereignly in control of all things. In my opinion, no stronger passage of Scripture in the Old Testament, or New Testament exists for the absolute eternal security of every true Christian believer.

I and My Father are one—Paul wrote in his letter to the Colossians: He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. (Colossians 1:15-18)   Quite a mouthful of information of the deity of Christ. The Greek word for “image” is “eikon” from which we get the English word “icon.” It means “copy” or “likeness.” Jesus Christ is the perfect image—the exact likeness—of God and is in the very form of God (Philippians 2:6; John 1:14), and has been from all eternity. And in describing Him in like manner, Paul emphasizes that He is both the representation and manifestation of God. And thus is fully God in every way. One component in the heresy threatening the Colossian church was the denial of the deity of Christ. Paul combats that damning element of heresy with the emphatic defense of Christ’s deity. Jesus in our opening text is claiming what is rightfully His claim, equality with the Father.

So we can know this God, and know that He is a Person, not a logical or theological concept. He thinks, He has a will for us to know, He enjoys, feels, loves, and desires as any person does. The soon approaching Good Friday, we learn that He willing laid down His life for us, to redeem us to His Father. After three days, He rose from the grave, completing the greatest triumph for us, over death which could not contain Him. Yes, this God, our Lord, is not playing hard to get, those who want to know Him can. When we read the Scriptures we are learning about God, and His plan of salvation through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ. It is impossible for Christ to be both created, and the Creator of everything. Thus Jesus is the firstborn in the sense that He has the preeminence and possesses the right of inheritance “over all creation.” He existed before the creation and is exalted in rank above it.

For I am persuaded, that neither death nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to seperate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.  (Romans 8:38-39) Let us live with grateful hearts for the abundant love and grace of God. The strong hold He has over every created thing, which also includes you and I, let us give thanks to God today for His incredible promise of hope and that nothing in this life can ever separate us from His love, which is found in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!  Amen. Continue Lord to make us so aware of Your mercy You have toward us.

May the Lord bless your walk with Him today!




A House of Prayer For All Nations

“Also the sons of the foreigner who join themselves to the Lord, to serve Him, and to love the name of the Lord, to be His servants—Everyone who keeps the Sabbath, and holds fast My covenant—Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer. Their burnt offerings and their sacrifices will be accepted on My altar; For My house shall be called a house of prayer for all nations.”  Isaiah 56-6-7

The Lord had declared through the prophet Isaiah, that even the Gentile stranger, that is the person who is not a Jew who is there and follows the Lord, God wanted him to feel an access unto God through the temple. Now the Jews in establishing the temple did not really follow this. They had the court of the Gentiles apart from their own area, and if you were a Gentile you had to stay in your own area designated by the various warning signs put up by the Jews to “keep out” of their area of temple worship at the cost of their life. But God declared through the prophet that the scarifices of a foreigner who loves God, whose heart is inclined to serve Him and obey the Mosiac law, will find his sacrifices welcome in the coming kingdom as well. In the New Testament, the kingdom of the Messiah, the Jerusalem temple will be the focal point for worship of the Lord by people of all ethnic backgrounds. Jesus cited a violation of this anticipation, when Jesus came into the temple, He saw those moneychangers that were there and those who were selling doves. Jewish leaders had made the temple into a commericial venture. Then Jesus went into the temple of God and drove out all those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves. And said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer, ‘ but you have made it a ‘den of thieves.’ “ (Matthew 21:12-13) Jesus addressed all who were present by making it an occasion for public teaching. He regarded both merchants and their customers guilty of desecrating the temple. The items being sold were to be used for temple sacrifices, and yet they were ripping off their customers by using customs enforced for their own benefit and not fair to the consumer. Money changers—Currency exchange was needed because Roman coinage were deemed unacceptable for temple offerings. Evidently both merchants and money changers were both charging such excessive rates that the temple marketplace took on the atmosphere of a thieves’ den. And they limited the attendance by not allowing Gentiles to enter in. So we see the idea of robbery and thievery was going on at Jesus’ entrance into the temple. And so He quotes actually from this verse in Isaiah where God’s intention that His house would be called a house of prayer for all people. That it would be open to anyone, anybody who wanted to pray unto God would be free to come in and pray unto God within the house. Which indicated that the gospel will go out to the Gentiles. The Lord God, who gathers the outcasts of Israel, says, “Yet I will gather to him Others besides those who are gathered to him.” (Isaiah 56:8) Meaning besides gathering Israel’s exiles into His kingdom, the Lord will bring non-Jews also.

The Bible clearly points out that those who are in Christ, that is, a born-again believer. A Christian today, Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s. (1 Corinthians 6:18-20) There is a sense in which sexual sin destroys a person like no other, because it is so intimate and endangers the intimacy that was designed for marriage. Not only from the aspect of health isues, due to communicable disease’s, but to the fact that a Christian’s body belongs to the Lord, and is a member of Christ, and is the Holy Spirit’s dwelling place. Every act of fornication, adultery, or any other sexual act, including same-sex, is to bring what is holy into what is profane. The same picture Jesus saw in the temple with the merchants and money-changers. They were bringing what was meant to be holy into something that was profane to God. The apostle Paul said, that we need to respect our bodies, and our spirits which are God’s. They have been remade into a marvelous instrument of which His righteousness may be seen. It is through the actions of committed Christians today, that God will use to stop the spreading of widespread sexual immorality in our society today. The Psalmist David, wrote: I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. (Psalm 139:14) We are to know in our hearts, that our lives and what God has given to us, meaning our gifts, talents, our bodies, our whole being is meant for the glory of God. The Bible also says : But even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are pershing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them. (2 Corinthians 4:4) Satan is the god of this age who takes the current world mindset expressed by the ideals, opinions, goals, and views of those who have no hope of eternal life with God, but rather live in this world with a caveat of “Don’t tell me how to live my life.” Its worldly philosophies Satan has blinded to God’s truth through the world system he created. Without a godly influence, man left to himself will follow that system, which panders to the depravity of unbelievers and deepens their moral darkness.  Jesus, when He was explaining to His disciples the parable of the sower, explained: “When anyone hears the word of the kingdom, and does not understand it, then the wicked one comes and snatches away what was sown in his heart. This is he who received seed by the wayside. (Matthew 13:19) It is best to believe that God’s Word is always at stake in our world today. We are told in the great commission to go and make disciples of all nations, (Matthew 28:19), and in teaching them correctly, they would not become the prey of Satan, who would have have them believe half-truths and falsehoods about doctrinal matters, which is where you have all sorts of false teachers, and false religions out there to lead people astray from God.

Beloved friend, You are loved by God! You are also someone that He has valued to be very precious to Him. So precious that He purchased you with the blood of His own Son, Jesus Christ is our Redeemer and the One who gave Himself for our ransom debt, which no one else was capable of paying for. You are indeed a prized possession of God today. Let us live in such a way that invites others to : Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! Oh, fear the Lord , you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him. The young lions lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing. (Psalm 34:8-10) Praise the Lord!

May the Lord bless your walk with Him!




Coming Crucifixion

Now they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was going before them; and they were amazed. Then He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them the things that would happen to Him: “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.  Mark 10:32-34

This is the first mention of Jerusalem as Jesus’ destination. Because of the elevation of Jerusalem (about 2,250 ft. above sea level), travelers always spoke of going up to the city, regardless of where in Israel they started. Now the disciples were amazed and fearful at Jesus’ resolute determination to go to Jerusalem: Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51). This was a dramatic turning point in Christ’s minstry. Now His disciples can see that He is more comtemplative at this point, getting alone more often in prayer to His Father. It’s also obvious to them of this heaviness of heart, and so it frightened them. So Jesus then gathered them and began to tell them, saying “As we make our way up to Jerusalem, the Son of Man will be betrayed. They became afraid because they realized something was about to happen that they did not understand. This the third and last prediction of His death and resurrection that Jesus made to the 12 disciples, worth noting is that it is also the most detailed of the 3 predictions, specifically mentioning that He would be mocked, scourged, and spat upon. And notice He says that the scribes and the priests are going to condemn Him to death, but deliver Him to the Gentiles to do the job. It was the Roman soldiers who put a purple robe on Jesus and mocked Him, saying “Hail, King of the Jews.” It was the Roman soldiers who also laid the thirty-nine stripes on Him, to scourge Him. Recorded for us also was that it was these same Roman soldiers who also spat upon Him. Now if anyone were to ever doubt the Word of God, about our world and its existence, or how the stars and planets came to be? So detailed is God’s Word of prophecy about the existence of man, that we can believe with certainty that every word Jesus spoke about His betrayal and being condemned to death was accurate and true. If it were not, we wouldn’t ever see it written for us in the Scriptures.

And the third day He will rise again—Without the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we would still be in our sins, condemned to die from its judgment by God. The empty tomb speaks volumes to us as Christians today. Christ’s resurrection is one of the central truths of the Christian faith, and the only plausible explanation for the empty tomb. Paul the apostle gives us great insight when he wrote to the Corinthians, Now if Christ is preached that He has been raised from the dead, how do some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, then our preaching is empty and your faith is also empty. Yes, we are found false witnesses of God, because we have testified of God that He raised up Christ, whom He did not raise up—if in fact the dead do not rise, then Christ is not risen. And if Christ is not risen, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins! Then also those who have fallen asleep (meaning: have died) in Christ have perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men the most pitiable. (1 Corinthians 15:12-19)  Wow! This is telling us, because of the sacrifices made in this life in light of the hope of the life to come, if there were no eternal life to come, we would be better to eat, drink, and be merry” (Luke 12:19) Which is to have the highest of opinions of yourself. Rather than to fear God, and His judgment of sin in this world.

Beloved friend, Jesus predictions are true. Every one of God’s Word predicting His death and resurrection have come true. The Good News of the Gospel is that hope of eternal life in Christ, who gave Himself up for our sins, and hung on a cross as a condemned sinner, even though He was without sin. But that’s not all, on the third day, He resurrected from the dead, and conquered death for us. Satan has no power to keep us, as his greatest effort is death for the sinner, But demonstrates His own love for us, that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8). God’s love for His own is unwavering because it is not based on how lovable we are, but on the constancy of His own character; God’s supreme act of love came when were most undersirable and because of this, our hope for eternal life is real. Let us be found worthy of this calling, let our actions match that of our declarations and serve the living Christ with fervor and unwavering faith, that will bring glory and honor to Him, Praise God!

May the Lord bless your walk with Him today!

We Have Left Everything!

Then Peter answered and said to Him, “See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?” So Jesus said to them, “Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands for My name’s sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life. But many who are first will be last, and the last first. Matthew 19:27-30

To be sure, God is a God of order. We can read in our text today that there is a certainty that those who give up freely all things now, will assuredly have some type of reward later when the millennial reign of Christ on the earth is established. Should that be the only reason for sacrificing all things today, in this life? What am I living for? Well the answer to these two questions have to begin with the kind of relationship you have with Christ. Earlier in the text in regards to the rich young ruler, Jesus said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.” (Matthew 19:21) Jesus was not setting forth terms for salvation, but rather exposing the heart of this young man’s true love. He loved the things of this world more than Jesus Christ. Now Peter here in our text, points out that they have already done what Christ demanded of the rich young ruler. That they had embarked on a life of faith with Christ. Note that Jesus did not rebuke Peter for his expectation of reward. The Bible points out that God is able to do exceedingly and abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, (Ephesians 3:20) meaning God’s power working in and through believers is unlimited and far beyond their comprehension. There is a certain expectation when I take all things to the Lord in prayer. I give him my burdens, and He gives me His peace. I don’t have to worry needlessly about how am I going to get this done or that done, because I already know God is aware these things too. He tells us not to worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6:25-27). Last I checked, birds of the air were not created in God’s image, man was. Meaning God has very distinct plans for your life, and if you would but follow after and obey His Word, you can know for certain, that whatever I accumulate in this life, allbeit earthly goods, It is meant to be used to glorify God. Earthly wealth is meant to be used by the Christian to store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not corrupt. Read Matthew 6:19-24.

Regeneration—Here in our text the term does not carry its normal theological meaning of personal regeneration (Titus 3:5). Instead, Jesus was speaking of “the times of restoration of all things, which God had spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began: Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began. (Acts 3:19-21). This awesome prophetic Scripture was spoken out of the mouth of Peter, who had been filled and empowered by the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, where God was founding His church. The discriptions are given to the coming era of the millennial kingdom. This is clear to us because they bracket the reference to Jesus Christ being sent from God to bring those times ordained by the Father. The Holy Spirit spoke through Peter,  Christ’s future earthly reign, where this period of time future to us will be marked by blessings and renewal. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, Who has dealt wonderously with you; And My people shall never be put shame. Then you shall know that I am in the midst of Israel: I am the Lord your God and there is no other. My people shall never be put to shame. (Joel 2:26-27)  This awesome prophecy again makes us aware of a returned promise of the Lord. Note twice he spoke that God’s people shall never be put to shame.

First will be last, and the last first—This could be referencing to Israel, to the Jewish nation whom the gospel was preached to first. The apostle Paul said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek  (Gentile)” (Romans 1:16). God chose Israel to be His witness nation (Exodus 19:6) and gave her distinct privileges. Christ’s ministry was first to Israel (Matthew 15:24), and it was through Israel that salvation was to come to the world (John 4:22).

Beloved friend, We have learned much from our text concerning God’s revealed plan for those who have placed their lives into His care. We don’t have to fear what this world should fear. God’s redemptive plan of salvation assures us that we will be with Him when comes again to reign on this earth. We shouldn’t be afraid to let go of our earthly possessions in serving our Lord, He is more than capable of replacing anything, and for sure any human relationship we give up for His kingdom’s sake, will not lose it’s reward. Let us go forth now, and serve our soon coming King!

May the Lord bless Your walk with Him!

The Master Distractor

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.” And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even unto death. Stay here and keep watch with Me.” He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. ‘The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done.” And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy. So He left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”  Matthew 26:36-46

The word ” Gethesemane ” literally means “Oil press,” a frequent meeting place for Christ and His disciples just across the Valley from Jerusalem. It was a garden of ancient olive trees, and is still there to this day. This is where the whole thing of pressure Jesus would have to endure and from where it fell upon Him, a place where the olive is put under a heavy weight and pressed against, until all of its oil would be squeezed out. Jesus is about to begin His journey to the cross, and had taken with Him, three of His disciples ironically for their support. Amazing that God would entrust anything to a mere man, as we are so fallable?  Anyway, He asked the disciples to pray for Him. Imagine His disappointment when He found them sleeping instead. Here were three men Jesus brought into a close intimate fellowship with, men who had seen the miracles Christ had done. Three disciples who had the priviledge of being on the Mount of Transfiguration with Him.  “Watch!” He tells them, for My soul is exceedingly sorrowful unto death, watch with me.” Here is a great picture of the spiritual plane of prayer. We are told in the Scriptures, For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places(Ephesians 6:12). There is a spiritual warfare that takes place at the heart of every intercessory of prayer. Peoples lives being in the balance, Satan will not let them go without a fight! We need to fight these spiritual battles with spiritual weapons, For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,(2 Corinthians 10:4) The Christian life is marked by spiritual battles, yet, it’s through these battle tested trials that make Christians strong in Christ. Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart,(Luke 18:1).

Jesus uses Peter’s drowsiness to warn him about the kinds of temptaion he would soon face. The way to overcome temptation is to keep watch and pray. Watching for what? Being aware of your surroundings, and circumstances reminding yourselves as a Christian, I am not to be conformed to this world (Romans 12:1) and yet, I am to bear the fruit of the Spirit, which is love. I am to represent Christ, and His love for people to everyone I encounter. Praying ahead of my day, and through out my day worshipping God the Father, is to set my mind not on earthly things, but on heavenly things, the things of the Spirit that bring glory to God. Watching means being alert and aware of the possibilities of temptation, and being sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s leading, to know how to pray, for others who are in need and yourself. And because temptation strikes at times when we are most vulnerable, we cannot resist it alone. We need God’s constant help. Prayer therefore is essential because God’s strength can shore up our defenses that are weaking, and defeat Satan’s powerful lies. In the case of these disciples that evening, more than any other night, required disciplined vigilance and steadfastness.

O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done— This cup is the New Covenant in My blood, which is shed for the remission of sins. If there is any other way from which a man can be saved from his sin-laden life, it would have been written down for us right here. Not of our works of righteousness, no man can be saved from God’s judgment by his own good works. No, if not for the shed blood of Jesus Christ, God’s Only begotten Son are we saved from the condemnation that is coming to this world. Christ is asking the Father, “If there is any other way? ” For man to be saved, nevertheless, not My will, but Your will be done (26:39). Therefore submitting Himself unto the will of the Father, is what involves the taking up of the cross. Jesus said to us: “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”(Luke 9:23)  What does that mean, take up the cross? It means that I too must submit my will totally to the Father. Jesus is not asking any of us to do something He hasn’t done Himself. If fact the Bible makes it clear, Seeing that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin(Hebrews 4:14-15). This is huge, I can have confidence that no matter what I am facing, Jesus will be with me, and most importantly, understands and sympathizes with me.

Beloved friend, We are fast approaching the passion of Christ. This season of living for Christ is so important, as our world looks on, A Spirit filled Christian will be a worshiper of the true and living God. Satan knows what time of the year it is too. He knows people’s interest will be coming more aware of who Christ really is. Satan knows if he can keeps us from worship, he can keep us from spiritual power. He is the master distractor at keeping us from worshipping the Lord in our walk, so be on the alert! Always be in prayer, over those things you feel vulnerable of. Remember that your not alone in this, and that many brethren around the world are under going the same temptaion, and even worse persecution than you or I could ever imagine. We will be ever thankful of the Holy Spirit’s power in our lives when we see our loved ones drawn to the Lord by observing your life and walk with Him.

May the Lord bless your walk!