Choose Slavery or True Freedom

 

According to the Bible, slavery and true freedom are not legislated by governments and dictators, but are rather a matter of personal choice.  Think about what Jesus taught his followers in this conversation with Jewish leaders who were at the time under the rule of the Roman Government.

John 8: 31-36  Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” They answered Him, “We are Abraham’s descendants, and have never been in bondage to anyone. How can You say, ‘You will be made free’?”Jesus answered them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, whoever commits sin is a slave of sin. And a slave does not abide in the house forever, but a son abides forever. Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed.”

Today in the “modern world”, and even in the “church”, most people seem to ignore, neglect, or disbelieve altogether the teaching of Christ Jesus, let alone “abide (live) in His word”. Think about the condition of the world we live in today and consider the clear evidence that this is the very reason that so many are lost and without hope.       Why ?… because they are slaves to sin (under condemnation and the sentence of death)  and have not been set free in Jesus! To be His disciples we must to learn to abide (live) in the teachings of Christ and be made free from sin, and we can also share that freedom with others!

Living by the Word of God

In the chronicles of the life of Jesus Christ from Mathew’s gospel, one of the earliest challenges He faced were the three (3) temptations of Satan in the desert after 40 days and nights of fasting. His answers to Satan should have great significance to all of us who are His disciples.

Mathew 4:4 Although he was starving physically when Satan 1st  tempted Jesus to make bread out of the rocks He refused and answered; “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ” 

This is a critical lesson that is taught throughout the Bible which asserts that God’s word is authoritative, true, and final. It is the very source of our life. Within His word we find true life and without His word we cannot have life.

John 1:14 The word became flesh and dwelt among us.”  

God our Father has given us his word, not only the written commands and teachings of the law and the prophets, but He has given us His Son the living word, to dwell with us and to guide us through the perils of this life into eternal life with Him.  Let’s be sure that we have ears to hear and hearts to follow God’s Word as we daily meet the temptations and trials of this world.

Mathew 7:24 – 27 What’s Your Foundation?

The Wise and Foolish Builders

 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

So many Christians I know have tried to build their lives (relationships) without the guidance and instruction of Christ’s teaching. Many who have listened to His words still fail to “put them into practice” seeking instead to build their lives (relationships) their homes, their family, on worldly habits, ideas, and philosophies. The weakness of the church (we it’s people) can be found in our foundation. When we do not “hear” and “practice” the words of our Lord Jesus, the temptations and troubles of life, the consequences of our own sinful actions cause the failure  of the very life (relationships) we are trying to build.

Does your life need shoring up? It is never too late to tear down the failing structure of one’s life to rebuild on the solid foundation of hearing, understanding and putting Christ’s words into practice. Open God’s word (the gospels) and go back again to read and learn from what Jesus has said, put His teaching into practice and watch how strong the structure of your life (relationships) will become.                                                    

Blessings to All in Jesus    Vince

Jesus said: John 6:52 – 68 “Do you also want to go away?”

Many Disciples Turn Away after Jesus’ Teaching

There are many times, as in the following passage, when Jesus said some difficult and challenging things which resulted in some turning away.

 John 6: 52 – 68 The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?”

Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.  Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.  He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.  As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.”

These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.

Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it?”

When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you? What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who would betray Him. And He said, ” Therefore I have said to you that no one can come to Me unless it has been granted to him by My Father.”

From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?”

But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

Jesus teaching metaphorically that He was the bread of life, and that those who eat His flesh and drink His blood would have eternal life, was misunderstood by many disciples who were following Him. Some, despite the miraculous powers and powerful teaching, abandoned Him.  Others, like Peter, realized that He had the “words of eternal life”.

Today there are those who come to “believe and know” that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, like Peter.  Yet there are those also who turn away (tragically) as in Jesus’ day.

 Hebrews 10:19 – 23 Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,  by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,  and having a High Priest over the house of God, let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.  Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.

Blessings to All in our Lord Jesus,    Vince

Jesus Said, John 6:29 – 40 “I am the bread of life.”

Jesus is the “True Bread from Heaven”

John 6: 29 – 40 In the dialog between Jesus and the people who had come looking for more miracles, Jesus admonished them to  “Labor for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” Then they said to Him, “What should we do that we might work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God; that you believe in Him whom He sent.”  Therefore they said to Him, “What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 

Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven, for the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 

Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.” And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.  But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe.  All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.  For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”

In this wonderful and mysterious metaphor, Jesus affirms that God the Father has made the gracious provision of everlasting life for everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him. We see here that our loving God and Creator has given us Jesus, and He has given us to Jesus, with the assurance that Jesus will raise us up at the last day.

Over and over the Bible teaches us that this is the work of God and not something we have to accomplished or earn; it is totally the doing of our Lord and Savior, for His glory alone.  May we all be filled with the Jesus, “the true bread that gives eternal life”, and may we be willing to share that life freely with all who will listen.

Praise His Holy Name…   Check out Ephesians  2:8 – 10

Jesus Said; John 6:25 – 29

What should motivate us to seek Jesus Christ?

As Jesus continued to move through out the land of Galilee He did many miracles.  Thousands came to Him and in one situation, (recorded in all of the gospels), He took 5 barley loaves and 2 fish and fed 5000 men plus women and children, and there were 12 baskets of food left over more than they had started with. From this spectacular miracle many began to believe that Jesus was indeed the prophet (Savior) that the people of Israel were expecting would come some day.

After this time Jesus sent His disciples across the Sea of Galilee on their own. Later He joined them by miraculously walking out on the stormy waters and entering the boat with them, calming the sea and bringing them to the other side. The people knowing that they were gone followed after Him and found Him as recorded here in John’s gospel.

John6:35 – 29 And when they found Him on the other side of the sea. they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You come Here?” Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”    Then they said to Him, “What should we do that we might work the works of God?”Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

It is clear that Jesus is concerned with what is motivating the people to seek Him. Today He might voice the same concerns towards us. He wants people to seek Him because of the signs (proofs) that He has given of His Deity and authority. He wants us to understand He is the “food” (the source) of everlasting life for our souls, and  He did not merely come to satisfy our basic needs for now. He desires that we “do the work of God” by believing in Him (Jesus) whom He (God) sent (to be our Savior).

May the Lord help us to make it our life long ambition (pursuit) to feed on the Spirit, and Word of Jesus Christ above all else in this world. He is the very source of life for us all.        

    Blessings to All    Vince

Understanding What Jesus Said, John 5:24 -30

Dear Friends and Family,

Prior to understanding and believing in Jesus, I, like so many, did not really understand what Jesus truly taught about the critical issues of life and death and judgment. I was raised by a godly Christian mother and a non-believing father. For much of my early years I even thought I was a Christian because I had gone to church up to the time I went off to college. It was not until the circumstances of life became difficult in my mid 30’s, and I began to look at passages in the Bible like this powerful claim of the Lord Jesus, that I finally understood, believed, and followed Him as my Lord and Savior.

Consider carefully what Jesus said in this passage and often repeated about these issues;

Life and Judgment Are Through the Son

John 5: 24 – 30 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life. Most assuredly, I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation. I can of Myself do nothing. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is righteous, because I do not seek My own will but the will of the Father who sent Me.

Just think about it…Jesus as God’s only begotten son has clearly proclaimed that He has God’s authority over life and death and judgment. As He is also “the Son of Man”, He has the authority to judge all mankind who are dead in their trespasses and sins and under the condemnation of the law (of God) and judgment.  Jesus also has the power to grant everlasting life to those who “hear His word and believe in Him.”   If the claims of Christ are true, then all other notions about life, death, God, and man are ultimately worthless ideas contrived through the ignorance of men. Jesus has not given us alternatives for life, but rather, our Heavenly Father’s truth to live by.

Blessings and grace to All in Christ Jesus,    Vince

Jesus said: John 5:16 – 23

After Jesus heals the crippled man at the pool of Bethesda on a Sabbath day, the Jewish leaders hear of it and are angry with Him for “working” on the Sabbath.  The apostle John records their response and what Jesus said to them:

John 5: 16 – 23 For this reason the Jews persecuted Jesus, and sought to kill Him, because He had done these things on the Sabbath.  But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”

Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God. Then Jesus answered and said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel. For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will. For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.”

Again in this situation, Jesus boldly and with authority asserts to the Jewish leaders that He indeed is equal to God and is God’s Son, and is demonstrating this truth by the miraculous works that He is doing.  He further makes the bold proclamation that He has been given the power of life over death by His Father (God) to raise the dead.  As though this was not enough, Jesus proclaims that God has committed all judgment to the Son (Jesus), and that He should have the same honor from man as His Father.

If anyone thinks carefully about Jesus’ claims, the only honest conclusion we can have is that He is our God and our Creator and we should honor and reverence Him, as the one who will judge all mankind, or… that He is delusional and is making false assertions that should not be believed.

If we have believed that Jesus truly is who He proclaimed Himself to be, then there is nothing in our lives more important than this truth.  So… do we faithfully honor Him by sharing this life changing truth with those who need to hear His message?             

Jesus Said; John 4: 31 – 38

What Jesus said, can make a difference in the focus and purpose of our lives for 2012.

When we read the interaction of words between Jesus and His disciples, we have clear insights to the contrast between the focus of their minds, and the focus of our Lord’s heart and mind.  As they approach Jesus while He is talking to the Samaritan woman they have brought food and they want Him to eat, not recognizing that He is busy giving His testimony and proclaiming His deity to the Samaritan woman.

John 4:31 – 38 In the meantime His disciples urged Him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” But He said to them, “I have food to eat of which you do not know.” Therefore the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought Him anything to eat?”  Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work. Do you not say, ‘There are still four months and then comes the harvest’? Behold, I say to you, lift up your eyes and look at the fields, for they are already white for harvest! And he who reaps receives wages, and gathers fruit for eternal life, that both he who sows and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’ I sent you to reap that for which you have not labored; others have labored, and you have entered into their labors.”

Jesus has already taught His disciples that His purpose for coming into this world was to save the lost, and to bring eternal life to those who would believe.  It is clear here that He is teaching them now that bringing the message of eternal life to the unsaved is even more important than feeding our own fleshly bodies. He is sending His followers to reap a harvest of souls, as they share in the labor of those that went ahead of them, such as the old testament prophets and teachers including John the Baptist.

The Lord’s words to His disciples then are also true today, for there is still great harvest ready, and spiritual reward and rejoicing for those who labor to save men’s souls by bringing them the reality and truth of Christ’s gospel. May we all have the mind of Christ in serving His purposes through our lives, and not merely our own, for the year ahead.

Blessings for 2012 in the grace, faith, and love of our Savior Jesus Christ…                     Vince

Jesus said; “I who speak to you am He.”

In the Apostle John’s documenting of Jesus’ conversation with the Samaritan woman, Jesus demonstrates His spiritual word of knowledge about her marital history. Further He confirms to her that He, in fact, is the Messiah, the Christ, whom God, through the Old Testament prophets, said would come.

John 4:16 – 26  Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here,”  The woman answered and said, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You have well said, ‘I have no husband,’ for you have had five husbands, and the one whom you now have is not your husband; in that you spoke truly.”

The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, and you Jews say that in Jerusalem is the place where one ought to worship.”

Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”  

The woman said to Him, “I know that Messiah is coming” (who is called Christ). “When He comes, He will tell us all things.”

Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am He.” 

There are many millions of people who have ignored or set aside the miraculous birth, the powerful life and ministry of Jesus, His teaching and bold pronouncements that He is our God and Creator come to save us from our sins, His submission to a tortuous death, and His resurrection.  But… any honest person who reads carefully the Old Testament prophecies and the New Testament chronicles of His life, cannot deny the reality of His claims or His existence, so… we are left with a choice.

  1. We who choose to believe today must ask ourselves: Are we true worshipers who are worshipping the Father in spirit and truth? What is the reality of our lives, day to day?  Are we following Him as His “born again” disciples, learning and growing in our spiritual walk? Are we living in submission to and agreement with God’s Spirit?
  2. If you are a non believer reading this, and you have been skeptical about who Jesus  is, please continue to read this blog or better yet get a Bible and read John’s gospel and study carefully the claims and teachings of Christ, asking God to show you the truth.

 

There are only 2 choices:  Not to believe or to believe.  But… it is clear, if His claims are true, then the choice we make is either to remain in spiritual death, or in believing, to receive a Spiritual rebirth for eternal life in Christ Jesus.  There is no more important choice we can make during our time in this world!

Blessings in our Lord Jesus to All for the New Year 2012,   Vince