Friday, November 30, 2012

The Man Believed -John 4:46-54

John 4:46-54 ESV
46 So he came again to Cana in Galilee, where he had made the water wine. And at Capernaum there was an official whose son was ill. 47 When this man heard that Jesus had come from Judea to Galilee, he went to him and asked him to come down and heal his son, for he was at the point of death. 48 So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe.” 49 The official said to him, “Sir, come down before my child dies.” 50 Jesus said to him, “Go; your son will live.” The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way. 51 As he was going down, his servants met him and told him that his son was recovering. 52 So he asked them the hour when he began to get better, and they said to him, “Yesterday at the seventh hour the fever left him.” 53 The father knew that was the hour when Jesus had said to him, “Your son will live.” And he himself believed, and all his household. 54 This was now the second sign that Jesus did when he had come from Judea to Galilee.

There are various stages of belief and it changes with our experience. This account of the official speaks to that common element in our lives. Our experience informs our thinking, at times confirming and at other times disproving our suppositions. We are sometimes exposed to new ways of thinking. It is a work in progress at best.

This man believed enough to seek Jesus out, to leave his dying son in a desperate attempt to save him. When Jesus told him his son would live, we are told "The man believed the word that Jesus spoke to him and went on his way." The official had to be going home with a higher level of belief and trust in Jesus than was present than when he first sought help. He met Jesus and heard His word. From this personal encounter came a peace and healing that can only come from Jesus.

On his journey home, he learns that his son is recovering and confirms his trust in The Lord. His belief in Jesus is made even stronger as he hears then see for himself that his son lives.

Our story is similar. We grapple with various struggles and issues which can open our eyes and lives to Jesus, and which reinforce and confirm our trust in Him. We can waiver and weaken in a given moment, but He tells us He'll always be with us. In time we see this to be so.

Belief is not a static thing, but a living thing. The breath of life shares life through belief.

Psalms 40:17
As for me, I am poor and needy,
but the Lord takes thought for me.
You are my help and my deliverer;
do not delay, O my God!

Psalms 107:20-22
He sent out his word and healed them,
and delivered them from their destruction.
21 Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,
for his wondrous works to the children of man!
22 And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving,
and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!

Acts 2:39
For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.”

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

And We Know -John 4:39-45

John 4:39-45 ESV
Many Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman's testimony, “He told me all that I ever did.” 40 So when the Samaritans came to him, they asked him to stay with them, and he stayed there two days. 41 And many more believed because of his word. 42 They said to the woman, “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.”
43 After the two days he departed for Galilee. 44 (For Jesus himself had testified that a prophet has no honor in his own hometown.) 45 So when he came to Galilee, the Galileans welcomed him, having seen all that he had done in Jerusalem at the feast. For they too had gone to the feast.

The townspeople believed at first on the testimony of the woman. Her testimony was not based on a miraculous healing or sign, but His knowledge of her. He could speak to her of things of her heart. His acceptance of her was complete and without reserve, and this is perhaps the greatest miracle for us all. We know because He knows us and the word of God. He brings us together.

They go to Him and more believe when they hear for themselves as He spoke of the love and forgiveness of God. There was no doubting His word. The day of salvation had arrived and they received it with joy.

1 John 4:13-14
By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.

Mark 6:4-6
And Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his hometown and among his relatives and in his own household.” 5 And he could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and healed them. 6 And he marveled because of their unbelief.
And he went about among the villages teaching.

1 Timothy 4:10
For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

2 Corinthians 6:1-2
1 Working together with him, then, we appeal to you not to receive the grace of God in vain. 2 For he says,
“In a favorable time I listened to you,
and in a day of salvation I have helped you.”
Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.

Hebrews 4:13
And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Luke 4:32
and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word possessed authority.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Known By God

[ESVi] 1Cor. 8:3 But if anyone loves God, he is known by God.

It's not who you know, but who you love.

Dwells In Me -Romans 7:14-25

Romans 7:14-25 ESV
For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.
21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

Not understanding actions of the flesh implies a spirit that has come alive to God. Though the spirit is reborn into life from above, the body remains unchanged. It is only when we rise to meet Christ will we be made whole in new bodies. Paul admits to this condition of weakness and his struggle. In his heart and mind he agrees with God, yet he finds himself straying from time to time from the very God Who has delivered his soul. He delights in the law of God, but finds another factor at play inside his skin. We are born again, but residing in the old body. The pattern of the younger inheriting the blessing is repeated.

Two entities exist in this one body, often referred to as darkness and light, heaven and earth. The light has come into the world and the world is not able to comprehend that light. This is the fallen earth and world which we must overcome. We are unable to do this ourselves, but it can be done if we unite with Christ. He has made a way and is the way.

Psalms 1:2
but his delight is in the law of the Lord,
and on his law he meditates day and night.

1 Corinthians 3:1-3
1 But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready, 3 for you are still of the flesh. For while there is jealousy and strife among you, are you not of the flesh and behaving only in a human way?

Galatians 5:17-18
For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do. 18 But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law.

1 Timothy 1:8-11
Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.

John 3:6-7
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again. ’

Psalms 119:172-176
My tongue will sing of your word,
for all your commandments are right.
173 Let your hand be ready to help me,
for I have chosen your precepts.
174 I long for your salvation, O Lord,
and your law is my delight.
175 Let my soul live and praise you,
and let your rules help me.
176 I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek your servant,
for I do not forget your commandments.

Galatians 3:21-22
Is the law then contrary to the promises of God? Certainly not! For if a law had been given that could give life, then righteousness would indeed be by the law. 22 But the Scripture imprisoned everything under sin, so that the promise by faith in Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe.

Hebrews 4:15-16
For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. 16 Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Monday, November 26, 2012

One Sows And Another Reaps -John 4:31-38

John 4:31-38
Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, “Rabbi, eat.” 32 But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” 33 So the disciples said to one another, “Has anyone brought him something to eat?” 34 Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. 35 Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. 36 Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 37 For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps. ’ 38 I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”

Jesus remains focused on His task. The disciples brought back something for Him to eat, but another matter was weighing more on His mind. The harvest is ready. He is the bread from heaven, the manna for a hungry world. He must continue setting the table.

The Father has sown the seed and the Son begins the reaping. Jesus tells them to look up and see the world through His eyes, the work that is at hand. Just as Jesus is sent from the Father, Jesus sends the His disciples to witness to the word. They will join in the ongoing effort of many that will find its end in salvation. It is a labor of love.

John 19:28-30
28 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said ( to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Proverbs 11:18
The wicked earns deceptive wages,
but one who sows righteousness gets a sure reward.

1 Corinthians 9:17-18
For if I do this of my own will, I have a reward, but if not of my own will, I am still entrusted with a stewardship. 18 What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel free of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.

Revelation 2:17
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To the one who conquers I will give some of the hidden manna, and I will give him a white stone, with a new name written on the stone that no one knows except the one who receives it. ’

Hebrews 12:2
looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

1 Thessalonians 2:19
For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you?

2 Timothy 4:7-8
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that Day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing.

1 Peter 1:10-13
Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.
Called to Be Holy
13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober- minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Could This Be The Christ?

John 4:27-30 ESV
Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman, but no one said, “What do you seek?” or, “Why are you talking with her?” 28 So the woman left her water jar and went away into town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me all that I ever did. Can this be the Christ?” 30 They went out of the town and were coming to him.

The disciples return and find Jesus speaking to the woman. They were probably amazed at what they found as they were when they witnessed a healing, the restoration of sight or allowing a lame man to walk. This was but a healing of a different sort. Jesus reached out to a soul that was viewed as an outcast on many levels, but was one of the first to hear from His own lips that He is the Messiah, the Christ. This would bring the healing of peace.

The encounter was life changing. She came for water, a daily routine, only to find something out of the ordinary. She found the The Lord, and in doing so she was beginning to find herself. The old began to give way to the new, as the darkness began to give way to the light.

Leaving her water jar behind could signify the leaving behind of an old way of living, one that no longer applied. She had become a new vessel for the living water. She had drawn water from another well.

Previously she avoided people, but now she sought them out. The joy of her message could not be contained. She boldly shares the miracle of her find. There could have been no doubt that something had taken place when the townspeople heard her voice and saw the change in this woman. They had to see for themselves.

1 Corinthians 14:24-25
But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or outsider enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all, 25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed, and so, falling on his face, he will worship God and declare that God is really among you.

Revelation 22:17
The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.

Friday, November 23, 2012

I Am He -John 4:16-26

John 4:16-26
Jesus said to her, “Go, call your husband, and come here.” 17 The woman answered him, “I have no husband.” Jesus said to her, “You are right in saying, ‘I have no husband’; 18 for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true.” 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” 25 The woman said to him, “I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things.” 26 Jesus said to her, “I who speak to you am he.”

Jesus asks her about her husband. They both know the truth of the matter, and she does not hesitate with her answer. When Jesus confirms her answer and add some particulars, she realizes that He is a man unlike anyone she's met before. Instead of cowering in His presence and her shame, she asks Him about worship. She reveals a heart that is open to God. There is no circumstance that God cannot reach into, or person beyond the touch of God. He reveals Himself to ones that seek Him in truth.

Multiple husbands of this woman could point us to the issue of idolatry and the worshipping of something other than God. Marriage is a commonly used metaphor for the relationship between God and His people. Jesus is the bridegroom and the husband of the church to come. "I am He".

Jesus then tells her of the true worshipers sought by God. God's plan for the beginning of a new creation is at hand. God calls out with the testimony of Jesus and His gospel of salvation. Who will answer with, "Here I am!"? As many as will answer, come and I will give you rest.

Hebrews 4:13
And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Isaiah 66:2
All these things my hand has made,
and so all these things came to be,
declares the Lord.
But this is the one to whom I will look:
he who is humble and contrite in spirit
and trembles at my word.

2 Chronicles 7:16-18
For now I have chosen and consecrated this house that my name may be there forever. My eyes and my heart will be there for all time. 17 And as for you, if you will walk before me as David your father walked, doing according to all that I have commanded you and keeping my statutes and my rules, 18 then I will establish your royal throne, as I covenanted with David your father, saying, ‘You shall not lack a man to rule Israel. ’

Ephesians 2:18-22
For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. 22 In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit.

Psalms 147:19-20
He declares his word to Jacob,
his statutes and rules to Israel.
20 He has not dealt thus with any other nation;
they do not know his rules.
Praise the Lord!

Galatians 4:6-7
And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

Matthew 26:63-64
But Jesus remained silent. And the high priest said to him, “I adjure you by the living God, tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.” 64 Jesus said to him, “You have said so. But I tell you, from now on you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Give Me This Water -John 4:7-15

John 4:7-15
A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” ( For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”

The woman is confused, and rightly so. Though He should not be there, a Jewish man in the heat of the day addresses her and asks for a drink. This is not done, yet here they are in this unexpected moment. Too amazed to ignore Him, she replies, "How is it...?"

He answers her question with the truth, but the words mystify her. She tells Him the well is deep and He has nothing to draw the water. The spiritual reality is opposite of what she sees. She is the one thirsty for the living water and she has nothing that would allow her to drink from that fountain of life, but sitting in front of her is the one who can provide that water. How common it is that we think we know something when we are far from knowing?

Wisdom and truth are usually encountered unexpectedly.

She asks for that water, though she does not know what that fully means. That is not much different than when we place our trust in Jesus. No one has seen or fully perceived the riches and wonder that await us as children of the Living God, but we know enough to say, "Give me some of this water Lord".

Ezra 4:3-6
But Zerubbabel, Jeshua, and the rest of the heads of fathers 'houses in Israel said to them, “You have nothing to do with us in building a house to our God; but we alone will build to the Lord, the God of Israel, as King Cyrus the king of Persia has commanded us.”
4 Then the people of the land discouraged the people of Judah and made them afraid to build 5 and bribed counselors against them to frustrate their purpose, all the days of Cyrus king of Persia, even until the reign of Darius king of Persia.
6 And in the reign of Ahasuerus, in the beginning of his reign, they wrote an accusation against the inhabitants of Judah and Jerusalem.

Matthew 10:5-6
5 These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “Go nowhere among the Gentiles and enter no town of the Samaritans, 6 but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Acts 10:28
And he said to them, “You yourselves know how unlawful it is for a Jew to associate with or to visit anyone of another nation, but God has shown me that I should not call any person common or unclean.

Jeremiah 2:13
for my people have committed two evils:
they have forsaken me,
the fountain of living waters,
and hewed out cisterns for themselves,
broken cisterns that can hold no water.

Revelation 7:17
For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd,
and he will guide them to springs of living water,
and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

Revelation 22:1
1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Jacob's Well Was There -John 4:1-6

John 4:1-6
1 Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2 (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples), 3 he left Judea and departed again for Galilee. 4 And he had to pass through Samaria. 5 So he came to a town of Samaria called Sychar, near the field that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6 Jacob's well was there; so Jesus, wearied as he was from his journey, was sitting beside the well. It was about the sixth hour.

He leaves Judea before the Pharisees are able to arrive. It's not time to contend with them. There would be time enough for that in the days to come.

In verse 4 we read He "had to pass through Samaria". While true this land lay between Judea and His destination, He could have gone around and avoided that territory, but He was here for a purpose. He had come into the world that all might be saved. He would pass through other barriers of division as well, such as between clean and unclean, man and woman, and Jew and Gentile. It is in this sense He "had to", for the salvation of man.

The first word used in this account for well is translated from the Greek word πηγη or pege which means more than a hole dug in the ground to reach water, but is in fact a source of flowing water, a spring. As the story continues, the woman lowers her vessel into a well based on the Greek word for pit or well, (φρεαρ phrear;). Just as there is a contrast in the Greek words used here by John, Jesus will speak to the woman of the contrast between water she draws and the living water He offers. He is weary and hot and rests beside the well. She carries a heavy burden as well.

"Whoever gives a cup of water to the least of these", He would later tell us will be blessed. So it was with this woman.

Joshua 24:32
As for the bones of Joseph, which the people of Israel brought up from Egypt, they buried them at Shechem, in the piece of land that Jacob bought from the sons of Hamor the father of Shechem for a hundred pieces of money. It became an inheritance of the descendants of Joseph.

James 2:1
1 My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.

Monday, November 19, 2012

They Asked For A King -Acts 13:17-21

Acts 13:17-21 ESV
The God of the Israelites chose our ancestors and helped them become a large population while they were living in Egypt many years ago. He displayed His great power by leading them out of that powerful nation. 18 For about 40 years, He endured their constant complaining in the wilderness. 19 He opened up some land for them in Canaan by destroying the seven nations living there, and that land became their inheritance for about 450 years. 20 They had tribal leaders through the time of the prophet Samuel. 21 Then they asked for a king, and God gave them one—Saul, son of Kish, of the tribe of Benjamin—who reigned for 40 years.

After gaining the land as promised, the Israelites embark on another type of wilderness journey by asking for a king, instead of being satisfied with God as their king. For 40 years they had wandered through the desert as a result of disobedience. Again they disagree with God.

The next king, David, foreshadows the coming Christ. The promised land foreshadows a creation restored and the rest of God. The 40 years could represent our life on earth as we learn to trust and follow God. It is here we are given the choice of choosing God, or something else. In these two examples the Israelites chose badly and lived with the consequence of their decision.

Maybe we can learn from their mistakes.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

From Heaven -John 3:31-36

John 3:31-36 ESV
He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony. 33 Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. 34 For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. 35 The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

John emphasizes the divinity of Jesus. He was with God and came from God. His witness is unique for He alone started in the presence of God and descended from heaven. His witness is not confined to what God said, but the very words of God. That's why John begins His gospel about the Word being with God, and was God.

Jesus has been given all things. The Spirit in His fullness dwells within. Later Jesus will tell us that He will have to go away before the Spirit can come. Just as Christ would bear all our sins, the sins of the world, He was also He on Whom the Holy Spirit had descended and remained. In a sense, Jesus became a sort of spiritual lightening rod for the transaction of grace. Through Him sins were put to death, life made available, and the way to God was revealed as the doors of heaven were opened. One significance of Christ being given all things is that it reminds us that He alone is the way, the truth, and the life.

Verse 36 says the same thing, but in a different and clarifying way. Those that reject Christ are left in the grip of death and subject to the wrath of God. There is no room for claiming other ways to God.

Obedience is evidence of and comes from belief. One begets the other and they cannot exist apart.

1 John 4:5-6
They are from the world; therefore they speak from the world, and the world listens to them. 6 We are from God. Whoever knows God listens to us; whoever is not from God does not listen to us. By this we know the Spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

2 Corinthians 1:22
and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

Ephesians 1:13-14
In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory.

Luke 10:22
All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.”

Hebrews 3:18-19
And to whom did he swear that they would not enter his rest, but to those who were disobedient? 19 So we see that they were unable to enter because of unbelief.

John 5:24
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

Romans 2:8-9
but for those who are self- seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury. 9 There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek,

Ephesians 5:6
Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience.

Philippians 2:9-11
Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Friday, November 16, 2012

He Must Increase -John 3:27-30

John 3:27-30 ESV
John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. 28 You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him. ’ 29 The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom's voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.”

To receive, one must decrease as the Christ inside grows, to make room.
We are born first, earthly and mortal, then if we are willing, transformed into new creatures who rejoice in the sound of His voice. This is how the kingdom works and grows. Adam was charged with multiplying and subduing the earth. He was not up to the task, but Jesus is well able. Of His dominion there will be no end.

There is no reason to boast, or be puffed up, for everything comes from God. We have been graced with the gift of life and our contribution to the kingdom is as unique and singular as that life received.

John reminds his disciples and speaks the word of truth for us today. We are complete and whole because of what Jesus has done. Our joy is becoming more like Him and He promises He will do it. Within each person the earth is made new. How lovely is the dwelling place of The Lord.

Isaiah 9:7
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

James 1:16-18
Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

Philippians 2:2-4
complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

1 Corinthians 4:7
For who sees anything different in you? What do you have that you did not receive? If then you received it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?

Matthew 3:11-12
“I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. 12 His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.”

1 Peter 4:10-11
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: 11 whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

Isaiah 62:4-5
You shall no more be termed Forsaken,
and your land shall no more be termed Desolate,
but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her,
and your land Married;
for the Lord delights in you,
and your land shall be married.
5 For as a young man marries a young woman,
so shall your sons marry you,
and as the bridegroom rejoices over the bride,
so shall your God rejoice over you.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

That I Have -Luke 24:38-53

Luke 24:38-53 ESV
And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate before them.
44 Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things. 49 And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
50 Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. 51 While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. 52 And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy, 53 and were continually in the temple blessing God.

Jesus appears before them. They still struggle with disbelief with what they see. Jesus stands in front of them, yet they know He was crucified. They are transfixed and dumbfounded. He tells them to touch Him for themselves and see that He is flesh and bones. It seems significant that He says, "flesh and bones", rather than flesh and blood. We can look to Genesis and see the same reference to Eve who is taken out of man. His blood was shed for all and life no longer resides in the blood of the creature, but in the Spirit of God, the living water.

It says He opened their minds to Scripture, and then began to speak. The disciples saw with their eyes, touched with their hands, and heard with their ears the very word of God. What is written is fulfilled in Jesus.

Jesus sits on the throne in heaven, now clad with His immortal body, flesh and bones of a kind unfamiliar to us. With this same body He was raised up into the clouds, into heaven, the first of many that would come.

It is with this flesh and bones that He will receive His bride, and they will become one, just as Adam and Eve became one in the Garden.

We become His flesh on earth , an incarnation now filled with an immortal spirit, we are a new creature, transported into kingdom of God through the provision of the Holy Spirit. At His coming, we will be joined with our immortal, incorruptible bodies. Heaven and earth become one.

Hosea 6:2-3
After two days he will revive us;
on the third day he will raise us up,
that we may live before him.
3 Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord;
his going out is sure as the dawn;
he will come to us as the showers,
as the spring rains that water the earth.”

1 Corinthians 15:50-52
50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable. 51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, 52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

1 John 1:1-4
1 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the word of life— 2 the life was made manifest, and we have seen it, and testify to it and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ. 4 And we are writing these things so that our joy may be complete.

Psalms 110:1
1 The Lord says to my Lord:
“Sit at my right hand,
until I make your enemies your footstool.”

Genesis 2:23
Then the man said,
“This at last is bone of my bones
and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man.”

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Entering The Light

We enter the light
When entering His presence
Turning to Him
He comes into us
His Spirit with our spirit
There we are made clean
And holy and made new
In that refining fire
We become like Him

All Are Going To Him -John 3:22-26

John 3:22-26 ESV
22 After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he remained there with them and was baptizing. 23 John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because water was plentiful there, and people were coming and being baptized 24 (for John had not yet been put in prison).
25 Now a discussion arose between some of John's disciples and a Jew over purification. 26 And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness—look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him.”

Jesus and His disciples part ways with John. People continued to come to John, but more and more were coming to Christ instead. This is evidence that John had fulfilled his mission of announcing and preparing the way for the Savior of the world.

Jesus was not baptizing with water, as we are told in John 4, but his disciples do. John's disciples raise this issue with teacher. The transition and kingdom movement continues, just as John had always said, but the reality of his words set in. The people are going to Jesus. John's mission of preparing the way was successful. The appeal to God through the water of John's baptism of repentance leads to Christ. When we are sealed with the Holy Spirit, we are then confirmed in the kingdom of God, which is the body of Christ. That body has yet to be made ready. It has not borne the sins of the world, or been raised in glory. The baptism of the Holy Spirit will come after Jesus has returned to the Father.

John 4:1-2
1 Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus was making and baptizing more disciples than John 2 (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples),

Hebrews 9:22-26
Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.
23 Thus it was necessary for the copies of the heavenly things to be purified with these rites, but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. 24 For Christ has entered, not into holy places made with hands, which are copies of the true things, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. 25 Nor was it to offer himself repeatedly, as the high priest enters the holy places every year with blood not his own, 26 for then he would have had to suffer repeatedly since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the ages to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.

1 Peter 3:21-22
Baptism, which corresponds to this, now saves you, not as a removal of dirt from the body but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22 who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

God So Loved The World-John 3:16-18

John 3:16-18 ESV
16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. 17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. 18 Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

The gospel is initiated by God, as is everything. He loved and He gave. This He did by giving Himself, His only Son, for that love. In doing this, He says "I love you!" to each and everyone of us. If we are able to believe this and accept it, we are told we will have life because that's what He wants for us. He has cried out in His love and desire for us on the cross and in His word, but He left us with the choice.

How is it that we are already condemned? Moses was given commandments by God that would reveal our nature and our inability to comply. He did this because He wanted to save us. Only by revealing our need would we have reason to seek Him, to choose Him. He could have given up on mankind at the Garden fall, but He so loved the world. Who can explain love? Who can explain God?

Monday, November 12, 2012

Gathered Together -Acts 4:25-29

Acts 4:25-29 ESV
who through the mouth of our father David, your servant, said by the Holy Spirit,
“‘Why did the Gentiles rage,
and the peoples plot in vain?
26 The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers were gathered together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed’ —
27 for truly in this city there were gathered together against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, 28 to do whatever your hand and your plan had predestined to take place. 29 And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness,

The first believers were plagued with those gathered against them, just as they continue to gather today. Dismissiveness and hostility against The Lord and His Anointed are an ever present and growing reality for the follower of Christ. The unexplained rage and emptiness of that gathering points to the author of rebellion, the darkness we know as Satan.

We ask The Lord to be with us and grant us the privilege and strength to shine a light in the world with your word of salvation.

If I Tell You Heavenly Things -John 3:9-14

John 3:9-14
Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” 10 Jesus answered him, “Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,

So how do we know? We are immersed in this world here on earth. Our understanding of who we are is derived from this place. Nicodemus is trying to understand what Jesus is saying, but the words are not making earthly sense. His position as a leader and teacher of the people of Israel is of no help as he earnestly seeks the God of his fathers.

The words only make sense to one who is touched by the Spirit, for they are Spirit words. Jesus speaks with the authority of that Spirit, not just of heaven, but from heaven. The word has descended into His own creation and brings with Him the words of life. It was a challenge to believe God when He was in the shape of a man saying these things, that He is indeed God, just as it is a challenge today. From the world's perspective, it is a foolish proposition. It goes against the grain of human intelligence and experience to believe, until one recognizes that we are talking about something beyond human intelligence and something outside of our experience in this world.

He descended from heaven, but would be lifted up by man and God. Moses foreshadows the way man would lift Him, beaten and hung on a cross, ill treated and violently rejected. In the wilderness, Moses would also show us how God would heal His people from the poisonous snakes. Those who look to Jesus, the Son of God, will be saved, just as those wanderers in the desert so long ago.

This account is in the Scripture that Nicodemus held so dear, but the light of understanding had yet to enter his heart. When it does, he will know.

Isaiah 29:10-12
For the Lord has poured out upon you
a spirit of deep sleep,
and has closed your eyes (the prophets),
and covered your heads (the seers).
11 And the vision of all this has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed. When men give it to one who can read, saying, “Read this,” he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed.” 12 And when they give the book to one who cannot read, saying, “Read this,” he says, “I cannot read.”

Matthew 11:25-26
25 At that time Jesus declared, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; 26 yes, Father, for such was your gracious will.

Matthew 22:29
But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.

Psalms 51:6
Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Isaiah 53:1
1 Who has believed what he has heard from us?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

1 Corinthians 3:1-2
1 But I, brothers, could not address you as spiritual people, but as people of the flesh, as infants in Christ. 2 I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for it. And even now you are not yet ready,

1 Corinthians 2:7-8
But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 8 None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

1 Corinthians 15:47-49
The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Born Again -John 3:1-8

John 3:1-8 ESV
1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him.” 3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.” 4 Nicodemus said to him, “How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?” 5 Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again. ’ 8 The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”

Nicodemus is drawn to the light of Jesus. Though a ruler of the Jewish people, he walks in the darkness of the world. He is a good man, as men go, but the Spirit was outside his heart, yet calling to him.

In the signs performed by Jesus, Nicodemus is able to hear the Spirit moving, able to hear the voice, but unable to make out the words.
Without being a part of the Spirit, one cannot understand Spirit words. Nicodemus struggles.

Through the water of mankind and of the Spirit of the Most Holy God, we can be reborn into the kingdom of God, into the new creation that is underway and was seen before the old creation came to be. As it was with Esau and Jacob, the first born loses his blessing and the second born inherits his birthright. We are reborn as new creatures, shaped by the Spirit and loved by God. The old will pass away and the new appear. Heaven and earth will become one, and all of creation will rejoice.

1 Peter 1:23-25
since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; 24 for
“All flesh is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
and the flower falls,
25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.”
And this word is the good news that was preached to you.

1 John 5:18-20
We know that everyone who has been born of God does not keep on sinning, but he who was born of God protects him, and the evil one does not touch him.
19 We know that we are from God, and the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.
20 And we know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, so that we may know him who is true; and we are in him who is true, in his Son Jesus Christ. He is the true God and eternal life.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Sealing The Stone -Matthew 27:62-66

Matthew 27:62-66 ESV
62 The next day, that is, after the day of Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate 63 and said, “Sir, we remember how that impostor said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I will rise. ’ 64 Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead,’ and the last fraud will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by sealing the stone and setting a guard.

They sealed the opening of the tomb and set guard over the entrance, thinking they had secured the entrance and taken the necessary precaution to prevent this from going any further. They sealed the tomb to keep death in, and confirm their authority. They did not know the power of God, or the futility of their efforts.

The same Greek word is used when referring to God sealing us with the Holy Spirit. The difference is this seal is for life. It marks us as God's own, and blocks our return into the darkness of death. It signifies God's authority and promise. Those that reject Christ also reject the seal of the Holy Spirit. They are subject to take the mark of another. The mark of the beast will reflect a different spirit. It is present and roars like an angry lion seeking to slay as many as possible. God tells us that those who take the mark of the beast will share in its destruction.

σφραγιζω sphragizo 15x to seal, stamp with a seal, Mt. 27: 66; Rev. 20: 3; to seal up, to close up, conceal, Rev. 10: 4; 22,10; to set a mark upon, distinguish by a mark, Eph. 1: 13; 4,30; Rev. 7: 3, 4, 5, 8; to seal, to mark distinctively as invested with a certain character, Jn. 6: 27; mid. to set one's own mark upon, seal as one's own, to impress with a mark of acceptance, 2 Cor. 1: 22; to deliver over safely to someone, Rom. 15: 28; absol. to set to one's seal, to make a solemn declaration, Jn. 3: 33 *[4972] See seal. (MCED)

Daniel 6:17
And a stone was brought and laid on the mouth of the den, and the king sealed it with his own signet and with the signet of his lords, that nothing might be changed concerning Daniel.

2 Corinthians 1:21-22
And it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has anointed us, 22 and who has also put his seal on us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

He Knew -John 2:23-25

John 2:23-25 ESV
23 Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. 24 But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people 25 and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.

We are reminded how common it is for a man's words to not be aligned with his heart. Words can be effortless and thoughtless. They are easily formed and manipulated and often deceptive. How many times have we heard something like, "what do you really think?" We can deceive and be deceived so easily.

This was not the way it was for Jesus. Not only was He the Son of God, He was the Son of Man. As the Son of God, He gazed into men's hearts. He needed no witness, for the man gave witness of himself. In the same way, we will all stand before The Lord in the end and give an account. As the Son of Man, Jesus was wrapped in the form of our mortal flesh. He had first hand knowledge of the temptations, weakness, and frailties that are common to man. Yet, He loves us. In His mercy, He reaches out to our brokenness to make us whole. It is this mercy that draws us close as children of the Father.

Matthew 13:20-23
As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, 21 yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. 22 As for what was sown among thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. 23 As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

1 Samuel 16:7
But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

1 Chronicles 28:9-10
9 “And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever. 10 Be careful now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong and do it.”

Jeremiah 17:9-10
The heart is deceitful above all things,
and desperately sick;
who can understand it?
10 “I the Lord search the heart
and test the mind,
to give every man according to his ways,
according to the fruit of his deeds.”

Hebrews 4:13
And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

What Sign Do You Show Us? -John 2:18-22

John 2:18-22 ESV
So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty- six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

The Jewish leaders had not seen a sign showing that He was from God. They were not present at the wedding, but they would not have believed if they had been. This would be plain enough in the coming days. They could not see Him because they were so focused on themselves.

Jesus obliquely answers the question with a reference to His upcoming resurrection. Their focus and religion is based on the temple. Jesus tries to redirect their attention to the God Who once dwelled in that place. Their temple is but a shadow of the true temple. The light of the true temple stands before them, but darkness inside their hearts prevents them from comprehension of that light.

Notice that Jesus says "He" will raise the temple. Elsewhere we are told this was done by the power of God and that He was raised by the Holy Spirit. This serves as confirmation that Jesus is a member of the Holy Trinity of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

John tells us that the disciples would realize that both Scripture and Jesus were saying the same thing, the truth of God. He begins his gospel with the fact that Jesus is the word of God and is God. In Revelation we are told He is the faithful and true witness, the beginning and the end. "And they believed the Scripture and the word Jesus had spoken."

Matthew 12:38-40
38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, “Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you.” 39 But he answered them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah. 40 For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Romans 8:11
If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

1 Corinthians 15:3-7
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

My Father's House -John 2:13-17

John 2:13-17 ESV
13 The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money- changers sitting there. 15 And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money- changers and overturned their tables. 16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father's house a house of trade.” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.”

Passover began as an observance and celebration of God's mighty hand on behalf of His chosen people. Over time the reverence and awe of that deed diminished in impact on the heart of the people . The olive tree had grown hollow and brittle in the harsh, drying sun. While Passover was meticulously observed as they gathered, they were more mindful of gathering than giving thanks to God.

Jesus goes up to Jerusalem. God used to reside here, and the glory of His presence would give light to that city, but that glory had departed. He returns to His people who had turned from Him, and takes them by surprise. As He entered the temple grounds, He was confronted with the idolatries of money and trade in God's house. The original purpose of the house had become muddied and futile. The form of godliness was there, but it was empty.

God begins to restore His house. He drives the merchants and money changers out, upsetting the thing it had become. It is true worship He seeks and has always sought. The zeal mentioned here is shared by the Father and Son. The house of God is the temple of The Lord and they are one. It is that one Spirit that unites us.

Malachi 3:1-4
1 “Behold, I send my messenger, and he will prepare the way before me. And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple; and the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, he is coming, says the Lord of hosts. 2 But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner's fire and like fullers 'soap. 3 He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the Lord. 4 Then the offering of Judah and Jerusalem will be pleasing to the Lord as in the days of old and as in former years.

7 And he will swallow up on this mountain
the covering that is cast over all peoples,
the veil that is spread over all nations.
8 He will swallow up death forever;
and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces,
and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the Lord has spoken.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


God is in the present moment, always with us, in the moment because He is outside time. This is why He is the alpha and omega, on both sides at the Same time, even while in the middle.
I Am.

The Good Wine -John 2:6-12

John 2:6-12 ESV
Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. 9 When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him.
12 After this he went down to Capernaum, with his mother and his brothers and his disciples, and they stayed there for a few days.

Six jars are used in this first miracle, or sign, we see in John's gospel. We remember that in the Genesis God completed all of the cosmos in six days and it was on the sixth day that man was created. The number of jars may point to the cleansing of the world and man that would and will be accomplished by the sacrifice to come of God's own Son.

The water in these jars was used for purification rites by the Jewish nation to make themselves acceptable to God. In a sense, God used the Israelites to purify, or make people ready for the One able to truly cleanse a man. He would turn the water of the Old Covenant into the wine of the New Covenant. It would be for nations, all mankind.

Jesus reveals His divinity and glory before the disciples, and they believed. At the outset of His ministry, Jesus shows us a picture of what will take place as the result of His coming. He offers this wine to all at His first appearance. Those that accept will lift their cups to The Lord at His next appearance, the wedding banquet of the Bride of Christ. It will be a family affair.

Isaiah 25:6-8
On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well- aged wine,
of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.

Monday, November 5, 2012

They Have No Wine -John 2:1-5

John 2:1-5 ESV
1 On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. 3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

The third day mentioned here may point forward to the resurrection. There were three days spent in the tomb before Jesus rose from the grave. A wedding will take place when our mortal remains rise to meet our Savior. Jesus would be the new temple where true worshipers of God would worship in Spirit.

The mother of Jesus intercedes on behalf of the guests. She anticipates the miracles and the power of God that will come from her son. She has been waiting a long time for the fulfillment of the angel's words announcing to her that she would bear the light of the world. She must have an idea the time is at hand and has long looked forward to seeing it happen.

"They have no wine."

Jesus responds to the true question asked by His mother with "My hour has not come", but apparently it has because He then provides the wine, anticipating the wine of the new covenant. That hour is yet to come.

Mary turns to the servants and tells them to do whatever He says. Later God would tell us at Jesus's baptism to listen to His Son. Doing so, we bring forth the wine of the New Covenant as servants of the living God. We sip this wine with joy and thanksgiving as we await the hour of His return.

John 2:18-22
So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty- six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

Ephesians 5:31-33
“Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Isaiah 24:11-13
There is an outcry in the streets for lack of wine;
all joy has grown dark;
the gladness of the earth is banished.
12 Desolation is left in the city;
the gates are battered into ruins.
13 For thus it shall be in the midst of the earth
among the nations,
as when an olive tree is beaten,
as at the gleaning when the grape harvest is done.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

God Breathed

Scripture is God-breathed both in the writing and reading, for it is the living word. The Holy Spirit inhabits the words of the Scripture. The heart open to the Spirit and quiet is able hear and feel the breath of the living God. That life becomes ours when we are joined in the body of Christ. 

Not Have Been Guilty -John 15:21-26

John 15:21-26 ESV
But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. 25 But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause. ’
26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me.

His name is the same as His authority or account, which the Father, Son, and Spirit share in glory and majesty. There is but one God and creator of the cosmos.

Verse twenty-four addresses a common question about salvation and the justice of God. What about those in a remote jungle who have never heard of Christ? Are they condemned anyway? Are those born in a culture indifferent, unfamiliar with, or even hostile to the Gospel of Christ that leaves a new born soul landing in that spot on the earth without hope? All things are possible with God.

Though God demands justice, He is also love and light. He told Adam and Eve they would die if they disobeyed His commandment, but He provided a way back for mankind. Love will prevail. God knows better what He is doing than we can guess or imagine. We will not be disappointed if we trust in Him.

Friday, November 2, 2012

You Will See Heaven Opened -John 1:40-51

John 1:40-51 ESV
One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter's brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). 42 He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter).
43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” 48 Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” 49 Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 50 Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

δολοσ, ου, ο [etym. uncertain, cp. Lat. dolus (freq. used of ‘treacherous behavior’ and prob. borrowed fr. the Gk.)] ‘cunning that relies on deception for effectiveness’, craftiness, deceit Mt 26: 4; Mk 7: 22; 14: 1; J 1: 47; Ac 13: 10; Ro 1: 29; 2 Cor 12: 16; 1 Th 2: 3; 1 Pt 2: 1, 22 (with sim. blending of abstract and concrete 3: 10). (CEGL)

Jesus remarks that Nathaniel is an Israelite indeed, for there is no deceit found in him. A true Israelite is determined by the the heart, and is a heart known by God. The leaven of deceit and cunning is not a part of the kingdom, but belongs to another domain. The serpent in the Garden was more cunning than any other creature, full of the guile from the great deceiver.

God sees us inside and out. There is nothing hidden. He saw Nathaniel from a distance in the shade of that fig tree and saw also the heart within.

The fig tree could be a symbol of the house of Israel, as it frequently symbolizes Israel in Scripture. Jesus would later curse the fig tree with no fruit. Nathaniel asks if anything good could come out of Nazareth? The same question might have been asked regarding Israel after they turned from God. He looks for fruit.

Philip repeats the words of Jesus to Andrew, "Come and see". Some encounter Jesus directly, but many meet Him through others. Nathaniel does see, but then Jesus tells him of the wonder to come and what his eyes will behold. These disciples have no idea of what awaits ahead.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Come And See -John 1:35-39

John 1:35-39 ESV
35 The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38 Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39 He said to them, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour.

John's mission of preparing the way for The Lord continues. The next day he points to Jesus again, for He is the way. Two of his disciples hear him and follow after Jesus. Jesus turns to the two and asks them the question that applies today, "What are you seeking?".

That same question is one we all need to answer, though we might not encounter that phrase in exactly those words. Our answer is subject to change, depending on circumstance and progress in our journey. The ultimate thing we are looking for is God, though this is rarely recognized as the source of our longing. Instead, we substitute other things and tend to focus on things other than God. We are prone to wander in our movement. If we live, we are in motion, toward one destination or another. It has been said every decision takes us a step closer or further from God.

They answer, calling Him "Rabbi". They follow Him to learn, to be with Him. Jesus accepts them, just as He does all that seek Him. These two were seeking, as evidenced by their discipleship to John. John prepared the way, pointing to the Light of the world. He steps aside as the two now follow after Jesus. They want to learn more of this man. In the beginning God said, "Let there be light", and it was so.

Jesus says, "Come and see". And so they do.

Isaiah 45:22
“ Turn to Me and be saved, all the ends of the earth;
For I am God, and there is no other.

Ruth 1:15-16
And she said, “See, your sister- in- law has gone back to her people and to her gods; return after your sister- in- law.” 16 But Ruth said, “Do not urge me to leave you or to return from following you. For where you go I will go, and where you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people, and your God my God.

Proverbs 8:17
I love those who love me,
and those who seek me diligently find me.

Mark 10:51-52
And Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” And the blind man said to him, “Rabbi, let me recover my sight.” 52 And Jesus said to him, “Go your way; your faith has made you well.” And immediately he recovered his sight and followed him on the way.