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Monthly Archives: July 2015

Abiding in Christ

Abiding in Christ

John spent the first twelve chapters in his gospel using the teachings of Jesus to describe who Jesus was. Jesus, in John 14:4, told the disciples, “You know the way where I am going.” By this point they should have known, yet, Thomas declared in the next verse that they did not know the way. Jesus then reminded them that He was the way. (John 14:6). Jesus went on to describe the oneness He had with the Father, that when you see Jesus you see the Father. (John 14:7-11). In that context, Jesus declared that those who believe in Him will do even greater works because Jesus is with the Father and His disciples are in Him. (John 14:12-15). Jesus continued this narrative in the first eleven verses of the next chapter where He declared Himself as the vine and those who abide in Him as the branches. Those who abide in Jesus will bear fruit; those who do not will be cut off and cast into the fire.

Jesus said in John 14:13, again in 15:7, and again in 16:23 that whatever we ask of the Father in His name will be given. Since we abide in Christ we can directly call to the Father in Jesus name. In this case Jesus stated that He will not intercede for the disciple. (John 16:26). Since the disciple is abiding in Jesus, loves Jesus, and believes that the Father sent Jesus there is no need for intercession. (John 16:26). We see here that the disciple directly asks the Father in Jesus name. (John 16:23).

That being said, Jesus clearly expressed that the purpose for His leaving this world is to be with the Father. Jesus works with the Father as a mediator between God and man in His high priestly role. I Timothy 2:5 says, “For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.” In the seventeenth chapter, Jesus demonstrates this act of mediation between God and man as He intercedes on behalf of His disciples to the Father.

 
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Posted by on July 30, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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Do Not Let Your Hearts be Troubled

Do Not Let Your Hearts be Troubled

The setting of John 13-17 is in the upper room for the last supper. John 13:1 states that Jesus knew the hour had come for Him to be with the Father. During the Passover meal Jesus shared this news with His disciples. This news was certainly troubling to His disciples. First, He told them He was going to a place they could not yet come, secondly, He told them Peter would deny Him before the night was over. The news of Peter’s impending denial would not have been troubling for Peter alone, but for all of the disciples. This information, added to Jesus declaration that He was about to leave them, was greatly troubling. As if the news of Jesus departure and Peter’s upcoming denial weren’t troubling enough, Jesus shared more troubling news. He warned them that the world would hate them because they first hated Him and they would be persecuted for His name sake. (John 15:18-21).
In the midst of this troubling news Jesus said to them in John 14:1 and again in 14:27, “Do not let your hearts be trouble.” With such troubling news, how could their hearts not be troubled? Within John 14-17 Jesus gave them three encouraging reasons not to be troubled. First, Jesus comforted them with the news that this world is not their home and that He will come again one day to bring them to their new eternal home. (John 14:2, 3). Secondly, although Jesus will no longer be with them in the flesh He will continue to be with those who place their faith in Him, in Spirit. (John 14:19). He said He would not leave them as orphans. (John 14:18). Lastly, once Jesus departs from this world the Father will send them a Helper, the Holy Spirit. (John 16:7). In troubling times, we too can find great comfort with these truths.

 
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Posted by on July 28, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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All I Know is Jesus

All I Know is Jesus

“For I determined to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified.” I Corinthians 2:2

The city of Corinth was just outside of Athens. Athens was considered the intellectual center of the world. It was the ancient Harvard or Princeton if you will. They viewed the cross as foolishness. However, their man made wisdom would ultimately, by God, be proven to be foolish. Though Paul was a greatly educated man He didn’t debate them with the wisdom of this word. Rather, he said in I Corinthians 1:6, “Yet we do speak wisdom among those who are mature; a wisdom, however, not of this age nor of the rulers of this age, who are passing away.”

The world today has many forms of what it calls wisdom. For the most part, we are a greatly divided world, yet, everyone thinks they are right. How can Christians thrive in this divided world? Determine to know nothing except Jesus Christ, and Him crucified. This is a wisdom that is not of this world and will ultimately overcome the world. Allow every thought, every action, and every conversation to point to Jesus. Everything in this world is very temporary. I believe it is much more temporary than most people realize. Yet, Jesus is eternal, and offers eternity to anyone who will believe on Him. Therefore, He is all that matters.

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

So Many Christians Still Don’t Get It

So Many Christians Still Don’t Get It

For quite a while now Satan has been very successful at getting Christians distracted with their eyes focused on the works of man rather than the root of the problem. As a result they blame Obama, the judges, government as a whole, the LGBT community and Hollywood for the moral decay of our society. They are not the problem, they are only the symptoms of the problem. They are the fever allowing us to know the body is sick.

Ephesians 6:12 reminds us of where the battle is and is not. It starts off telling us, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood.” We can wage war against man if we wish, but we will lose every time. Why? Because that’s not where the battle is. Ephesians 6:12 not only tells us where the battle isn’t it tells us where the battle is, stating, “but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Our battle is a spiritual battle. Yes, it manifests itself in the flesh but those are only symptoms, the true source is spiritual.  Satan will simply sit back and laugh if he can get us to fighting man rather than him and his minions. If we do that, he wins.

How then do we fight this spiritual battle? With the divinely powerful weapons of warfare God has given. We start with the blood of Jesus, then we walk in the Spirit, while walking in the Spirit we step into the throne room of the Father through the blood in fervent prayer, then we step out in faith through God’s anointing with the sword of the Lord, which is the Word of God. And, we must do this with a unified body of believers. When we fight this spiritual battle with the spiritual weapons God has given, Satan and his minions have no chance. After all, they are already defeated. We just have to remind them from time to time.

 
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Posted by on July 1, 2015 in Bible Study, Devotional

 

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