Month: April 2016
16 Now when evening came, His disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them. 18 Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing. 19 So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid. 20 But He said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” 21 Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.
If you struggle with the deity of Christ, give this passage a few minutes of your time. In our Doctrines study on Wednesday nights we have studied God’s timelessness and God’s omnipresence. In these studies we have learned from Scripture that God is above time and above space, that is, God as creator of time and space is bound by neither. This is a difficult fact about God to wrap our time and space-locked minds around. Before there was time there was God. Before there was space there was God. As the designer and creator of time and space God lives above time and space. (As one of the men said Wednesday night, “This makes my brain hurt.”)
In the event described for us in John 6 we see Jesus Christ above time and above space. His disciples had left to cross the sea without him. In order to meet them across the sea, Jesus does not charter a boat but walks on the sea. The limits of gravity and space and water were not limits to the Creator of them all. While the men were struggling against the storm Jesus was walking on the troubled sea through the wind and rain.
Suppose for a minute that Satan, the prince and the power of the air, thought he could drown or destroy Jesus in an earthly storm. He sure tried to destroy Christ but the Creator was above his creation.
Jesus then bids the men not to fear. This was nothing surprising to the Creator. Walking on water was normal. But to the men it was fearful. So Jesus did them one more favor ever showing them that he was above both space and time. As soon as Jesus entered the boat it was at its destination. Here Jesus showed his deity over time. He was not limited by the time that men are limited by. It would have taken them much more time to cross the stormy sea but Jesus bypassed time and got them to the shore. (He even got them to the right shore, the place of their determined destination .)
Who is Jesus? Do not listen to the cults who want to deny that Jesus is God. In his lifetime, reported by many eye-witnesses, Jesus demonstrated over and over His deity. To deny the deity of Jesus Christ is to deny the Bible itself. Jesus was and is God. He had to be in order to pay the judgment of the Father for our sin. He had to be God to overcome sin and death. Hallelujah! What a Savior!
Sunday is our dinner day at church. This is always a great day of fellowship for us all. If we have visitors be sure to invite them to stay. Bring a little bit extra food to help those who cannot bring something.
Pastor Bill has a service this afternoon at Sunrise Assisted Living. This service used to have many attendees but it has become much smaller. Pray that those who come will be encouraged in their faith.
My father-in-law is having hip replacement surgery this morning. Please pray for Ed Alexander during this time. His last major surgery was problematic with coming out of the anesthetics. His liver did not come out and he was dangerously ill. Pray that all goes well for him today. Already this morning he was witnessing of Jesus to a Jehovah Witness Pilipino nurse. He had her convinced of the deity of Christ. He is a great witness of his faith in Christ.
Have a great day in the Lord,
After these things Jesus went over the Sea of Galilee, which is the Sea of Tiberias. 2 Then a great multitude followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased. 3 And Jesus went up on the mountain, and there He sat with His disciples.
4 Now the Passover, a feast of the Jews, was near. 5 Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” 6 But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.
7 Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.”
8 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, 9 “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?”
Here is a story that I have heard since my youngest Sunday school days. Jesus fed the 5,000 with five loaves of bread and two fish. I have heard many sermons on this from different points of view and different points of application. The first point I see in this section is that the disciples did not know what to do but Jesus knew exactly what He was going to do. They were concerned that they did not have enough money to buy food for so great a crowd and the only food in the crowd was a small boy’s lunch. The disciples were quite concerned.
On the other hand, Jesus knew exactly what He was going to do and was using the opportunity to teach them a lesson they would never forget. Let’s understand something they did not, Jesus had a lesson that they needed to learn about who He was and what He was able to do. What do we do when find ourselves in a situation that we cannot see around? What do we do when we find ourselves tasked with a situation that we are unable to accomplish? God has put something in our path that we just don’t think we can do. What do we do? I am afraid we do the same thing the disciples did; we fret and tell the Lord how impossible the situation is.
Our Lord is eternal and omnipresent. No situation of our lives is new to Him. Furthermore, according to James 1, God brings trials into our lives for our good and wants us to rejoice in the trials for in them God is going to show Himself powerful. The disciples saw the power of the Lord Jesus that day. They saw the bread and the fish multiply. Their faith was also multiplied. So the next time a situation comes upon you that is impossible for you to do, realize that the Lord Jesus is over your situation and He has a plan in place to make it work. He will work out your situation and your faith will multiply.
Bobbi announced a VBS meeting for two Sundays from now which is also Mother’s Day. She has changed that meeting up a week to this Sunday. This Sunday is also our dinner Sunday so the meeting will come before the meal for all involved in VBS. We have a great theme this year and it will be an awesome time for the kids showing them the power of God in creation and in salvation.
Ben had twenty-two teens last night for Cola Clash. It was a great night with many kids hearing the gospel. Keep them in your prayers that the Holy Spirit will call many of them to Himself.
Have a great day in the Lord, PS
45 Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; there is one who accuses you—Moses, in whom you trust. 46 For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote about Me. 47 But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe My words?”
The hearers of this discourse were a Jewish audience who knew that Moses gave them the Ten Commandments and the other ordinances of the law. This audience did not accept Jesus as coming from God so they were not going to accept His accusations of their sin. Jesus then turned to Moses, the one whom they claimed to trust and told them that Moses was going to be the one to accuse them.
People haven’t changed. No one wants to be responsible. In my lifetime we have seen the erosion of law and therefore the erosion of responsibility. Men and women have gotten away with murder and all other crimes when they had the money to do so. In order to get a bigger criminal plea bargains are struck and people get away with lesser crimes. I know one man who has gotten away with many crimes because he knows how to talk to a judge. Be sure of this, when we stand before God none of us will stand up to Moses’ law; all of us will be accused by it and all of us will fall short.
In verse 47 Jesus observed the Jews really did not believe Moses’ writings for his writings pointed to Christ. People today are no different. They claim to follow the laws they like but in reality they don’t follow any laws completely. They pick and choose what laws they like and what laws they don’t like. We know where we can speed and where we can’t.
Jesus’ death on the cross was necessary to bear the judgment for the sins that all who would be saved. All who reject God’s gift of life will be held accountable for all of their sins according to Moses’ law. Jesus did not come to condemn the world but to save the world. The world is already condemned by a standard set thousands of years ago. Look to Christ as the only One who bore the judgment for your sin. You don’t want to have to stand up before God with Moses’ law next to you. You will fall short of the glory of God.
We meet tonight as God’s house of prayer for all nations. Join us at 7:00 for prayer. Kids4Truth continues tonight and the teens have their final night of Cola Clash! Pray for our kids and for our teens to come to faith in Jesus Christ and to give their lives to follow Him. Pray for it not to rain as Ben has outside activities planned.
As I ponder our election cycle I realize that the only thing that can make a difference is prayer. If God hears us and sees us broken for our sin and seeking Him for answers He will show us what He is going to do for our good and for His glory. I am no longer going to be worried about who is going to be in the White House. I am going to be seeking the Lord for His guidance for our country and am going to trust that what happens is His plan and I can rejoice in it.
Have a great day in the Lord,
41 “I do not receive honor from men. 42 But I know you, that you do not have the love of God in you. 43 I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. 44 How can you believe, who receive honor from one another, and do not seek the honor that comes from the only God?
Seeking the honor of one another is nothing new. When we look back into history we find many men and women who were gifted in one area or another. As they received honor from others for their giftedness they took the honor and became great people. Some of those great people decided that they could lead people in a religious way and started religions. It is hard for me to imagine people starting a religion but I think it goes back to this teaching of Jesus: people want to give glory to people and not to God.
Romans 1 tells us that people fail to retain God in their knowledge and give glory to works of men instead of to the works of God. In the end they worship and serve the creature more than the Creator and professing themselves to be wise they become fools.
There is only one worthy of glory and that is God. Honor Him, honor the Lord Jesus Christ. Do not give lasting glory to people. Their gifts came from God. When they receive the honor from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God they put themselves in a dangerous position. God lifts up whom He will and then God puts down whom He will. We are to be reflectors of His glory, like a giant mirror we are to ever reflect any glory we receive back to Him.
The people of Jesus’ day did not give Him the glory that He deserved. They did not honor Him nor did they find eternal life in Him. Let us give honor to the Lord Jesus today; to Him who did all of the Father’s will so that salvation may be obtained. He who for the joy put before Him endured the cross and despised the shame so that we could be saved, give Him the glory and believe in Him.
Do you know the Lord Jesus?
I am extremely burdened for our children. They are being faced with wicked indoctrination all the time. From homosexual teachers to evolutionist teachers, to atheist teachers, all of whom are nice and likeable people, our children are being taught a world-view that is against the Bible. The death of the performer, Prince, has brought out some who have claimed he was a Christian preaching his message of the gospel through his violent and sexual music. From shared bathrooms to shared locker rooms to the Day of Silence, to the study of perverse novels, our kids are being indoctrinated to accept all people of all sinful bents as normal. The only ones in the wrong are those of us who say that God has established absolutes of right and wrong that we are to live by. Keep our kids in your prayers and when you can, point them to the Light.
Have a great day in the Lord,
37 And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. 38 But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe.
39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.
Those who think that Jesus was all love and kindness with no judgment and no harshness need to re-read this teaching. Jesus explained who He was and where He came from. He then tells us that God, the Father in heaven, testified of Him. Even though the people in Jesus’ day never heard the Father’s voice they had the actions and teachings of Jesus but they did not believe Him!
“If only Jesus were here today, then I’d have greater faith. If only I could hear His voice, ask Him questions and hear His answers, then I would believe.” When Jesus was here and people had all of this fulfilled on a daily basis, they still did not believe. Why is it so hard to believe in Jesus, to believe that He is God? Why is it so hard to accept that God the Father sent God the Son to come, to teach, to suffer and to die? People will accept all types of questionable teachings but won’t accept that Jesus is God.
Then Jesus told them to search the Scriptures but in them alone they would not find eternal life. Furthermore, when the Scriptures spoke of Jesus those who read them denied it was about Him. Both then and today people refuse to come to Jesus for eternal life. How sad that God in love for us sent His Son so that we could have eternal life and we have rejected the Son. We still want eternal life but try to find it apart from the Son. Jesus made it clear; apart from Him there is NO eternal life.
Please don’t try to find another way; please don’t patronize those who teach another way. All who seek eternal life apart from Jesus Christ are eternally lost. Eternal salvation is only available through Jesus Christ. (Note: these are His words, not mine.)
God gave us a full auditorium yesterday morning. We had three visitor families with two them returning for a second week. As always, I am grateful to God for the church that He has given us to be a part of. The fellowship again was rich and our joy study in Sunday school was a great encouragement. The message from Isaiah 56 taught us that when God receives people we must not keep them at arm’s length. It was a great day together.
Have a great day in the Lord,
31 “If I bear witness of Myself, My witness is not true. 32 There is another who bears witness of Me, and I know that the witness which He witnesses of Me is true. 33 You have sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. 34 Yet I do not receive testimony from man, but I say these things that you may be saved. 35 He was the burning and shining lamp, and you were willing for a time to rejoice in his light.
36 But I have a greater witness than John’s; for the works which the Father has given Me to finish—the very works that I do—bear witness of Me, that the Father has sent Me.
Jesus knew that the people of His day and the people of all time had and were going to have trouble accepting Him as God. Men are not gods; at least poor and uncomely men are not gods. Jesus fell into that category and His deity was not apparent. In this conversation Jesus went to great lengths of logic to confirm His deity.
As a man by Himself Jesus confirmed that His witness alone was not sufficient. Anyone can claim to be someone they are not and that claim has no value to it. So Jesus went to the claim of the Father, the claim of His works, and the claims of John the Baptist.
All of the people recognized that John the Baptist was a prophet. There was no question as to John’s messages being from God. Jesus reminded them that John made the claim of the deity of Christ. If John, a bona fide prophet, was convinced from God that Jesus was God then his witness was true.
The second witness Jesus refers to then is the witness of his works. No one in history had been able to do all of the miraculous works that Jesus did. Talk about “signs and wonders,” no one had ever conveyed the signs and wonders that Jesus did. We would think that the miracles of Christ by themselves would have convinced the hardest of hearts. Nicodemus came to Jesus recognizing that no one can do these signs unless God is with him. But the other Pharisees were angered by the miracles of Jesus and wanted to kill him and Lazarus after Lazarus’ resurrection.
This should remind us that we cannot “logically argue” anyone to faith in Christ. Unless the Holy Spirit of God confirms the deity of the Savior people remain in their unbelief. I have labored for years to help people come to faith only to have them remain in their unbelief. I continue to pray that the Lord will show Himself to their unbelieving hearts. Let us take time today to pray for someone we know who remains in unbelief that the Holy Spirit will bring them to faith in Christ as Savior and as Lord.
I had a great time at Sunrise yesterday. It is usually attended by five to six people. Yesterday I had fourteen in attendance. It was a joy to minister God’s grace from Isaiah 55 to them.
Tonight we gather for prayer and Bible study. Pray for our teens who are having night 2 of their Cola Clash outreach. Kids4Truth will also be meeting.
Have a great day in the Lord, PS
25 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. 26 For as the Father has life in Himself, so He has granted the Son to have life in Himself, 27 and has given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man. 28 Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice 29 and come forth—those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.
When was the last time you knew a dead person to hear a voice? Twice in these few verses Jesus says that the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God. I suppose that those of us who in this life have been accustomed to hearing the voice of Jesus in our hearts and through His word, we will recognize it and rejoice. This is not too strange of a thought for us, in fact, hearing the voice of Jesus after we die is a comforting thought.
But notice that Jesus said that those who hear will live. Does this indicate that there are those who will not hear His voice after they die? As we continue reading Jesus clarifies this and says that all who are in the grave will hear His voice. To some, however, that voice will not be a reassuring voice but a voice of judgment and of condemnation. Revelation 20 clears this up for us and tells us that those whose names are not found in the book of life are cast into the Lake of Fire.
You see, at one point in time, every man and woman who has ever lived, those who have loved the Lord Jesus and those who have cursed Him, will bow to Him. Some will bow in love and others will bow in fear. Read Revelation 1 and think with your imagination about John’s description of the risen Lord Jesus. Even John, who knew Jesus personally, fell at the feet of the King of kings who with fire in his eyes and a sword coming out of his mouth, spoke to him. Then imagine if you had spent your life cursing and denying Christ and you found yourself in His presence. You would be bowing in fear not in faith.
Jesus then says that those who have done good will find themselves headed to the resurrection of life. Conversely, those who have done evil will find themselves in the resurrection to condemnation. Let us tell all who will listen that there is a day coming when all people will find themselves before the Lord Jesus. Let’s tell them that they can know Him now and be at peace with Him then.
My yard has been an orphan for several years. Sure, I would fertilize it then mow it. Yesterday I gave it the whole day. Now I know why it never really looked good. I have never given it that much time before. Maybe this year will be better. Last night, Stefani played in the “Senior Concerto’s” at Waubonsie. There is some amazing talent in this community! The soloists played with such precision and clarity that if you closed your eyes you would think you were at a professional concert. Jared and I ate Combos during the concert because we didn’t have time for dinner before we left. We made it. Afterwards we ran into some old friends and renewed our friendship with them.
Have a great day in the Lord,
22 For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, 23 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.
24 “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.
Over and over in the Gospel of John we see promises of eternal life tied to Jesus Christ. Here we see that the Father has given judgment to the Son. The Father wants the Son to receive the same honor that men have given to the Father. Thus, when people dishonor Jesus Christ they are also dishonoring God the Father. So if a religious system, such as Jehovah Witness, Mormonism, and Islam, to name a few, do not honor Jesus Christ as God, is that system really honoring God the Father? We cannot look to their efforts but we must look to God’s prescription. God does not want honor apart from the Son. The two are equal and one so to leave one of them out of the honor and worship is to leave both out.
As you know, this teaching goes against political and religious correctness. Universalism is the name of the religious game. “God is going to receive all people eventually; who they worshipped in this life doesn’t ultimately matter.” It seemed to matter to Jesus.
Then Jesus ties eternal life to believing His teaching and believing in the Father who sent Him. Whenever we come across an authoritative statement of truth we must analyze the source of the statement. In this case the source is Jesus Christ. If Jesus Christ told even one lie or stretched the truth even one time He could not have been the spotless Lamb to take away the sin of the world. If the source of this statement of eternal life tied to Jesus and God is reliable then we have to believe the statement. We don’t need to reinterpret it nor find some obscure teaching to get around it. No, we just need to accept the teachings of Jesus as clear.
Therefore, to whom are you looking for eternal life? Are you concerned for people you know who are relying on some other way to heaven? Look to Jesus yourself. Submit to the will of the Father and accept the Son as Savior and Lord. Study your salvation so you can explain it to others who are in great need of God’s gospel. Jesus promised that those who believe in Him and honor the Father will not come into judgment (for their sin) but have passed from death to life. This is good teaching.
I am thankful to God for how He brought us together yesterday. He brought in two visitor families who said they would be back. Pray with us for God to bring new people into our church for His glory.
I really enjoyed preaching through Isaiah 55. This has been a rich study of God’s desire to satisfy us, lead us by His word to accomplish His purpose, and then to rejoice in God’s ability to bring fruitfulness out of a once thorny and thistle-filled field. There are no excuses for not being fruitful for the Lord. When He comes in He cleans out the thistles and He replaces them with fruit bearing trees and grassy meadows. It is a wonderful passage to gain understanding of. Last night we had our sermon discussion time and as always, it was a rich time of reviewing the word of God.
Do pray for our students in school. As I mentioned yesterday, the LGBT influence is very strong. Last week they pushed the “day of silence” when students, in support of homosexuality, rebel against all instruction and refuse to speak all day. This day is a disruption of education and becomes a bullying against kids who refuse to participate. Our children are made susceptible to this madness. Pray for them with fervor that they will see the failure of sin and understand the reason behind God’s righteous ways.
Have a great day in the Lord,
19 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. 20 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. 21 For as the Father raises the dead and gives life to them, even so the Son gives life to whom He will.
In order for us to have strong faith we need to understand solid teaching. Jesus spent much of His earthly ministry teaching about His relationship to the Father. It is wonderful teaching as it gives us great clarity regarding the relationship between Christ and the Father.
In His incarnation, (Christ becoming flesh, in the likeness of man) Christ came to do the will of the Father. He lived totally submitted to the Father’s will, which will had been predetermined long before Christ came as a man. In God’s trinity form, God had determined a plan to redeem fallen mankind. God agreed with God’s plan before God came in the form of man. Is that confusing? I just want to emphasize that Jesus is God and made Himself equal with God on many occasions. When Christ came to earth, the first separation of God, He came with a predetermined purpose and fulfilled it exactly as planned.
From this we learn that God is not arbitrary. Just the opposite is true; God is the ultimate engineer as He planned out just how to pay for our sin so we could be eternally reconciled to Him. Jesus was a part of that planning and fulfilled that plan in every way. So when Christ on the Cross cried out, “It is finished!” He was making a statement of utter completion of our redemption. It was at that moment that Christ ripped the curtain in the Temple thus opening, by His blood, the Holy of holies for all who would come to God through Him.
Jesus then gained all the authority of the Father and now gives eternal life to all whom He will. God loves the Son and God loves us. The Son gives us life by the love of the Father. The Son gives life because He completed the work of the Father on our behalf. This gift of love eternally demonstrates what love is: love is an act of sacrificial giving far beyond a normal gift. Thus we rejoice in these words, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but will have everlasting life.”
It is Friday and I am looking forward to Sunday. We will be in Isaiah 55 one more time. Read the last five verses of the chapter to prepare your understanding for Sunday’s message. This has been another rich study into God’s plans for His people. In the Sunday school hour the adults are studying “Joy” and will be in John 15.
Saturday night we are hosting a dinner for those who came through the Art of Marriage class. It is at my house and all who came through the class are invited.
Sunday afternoon there is a leadership meeting at 4:30. This is for all deacons, trustees, and elders.
Pray for Sunday that God will do a wonderful work in and through us. Pray that we will enjoy His presence together and rejoice in His love.
Have a great day in the Lord,
17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father has been working until now, and I have been working.”
18 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.
The deity of Jesus Christ has been a sticking point ever since he walked the earth. When asked who He was, Jesus confirmed over and over that he was equal with God. He called Himself the “I Am.” He accepted the worship of many people. He did incredible miracles everywhere he went. His teaching was different than any of the other teachers of his day for Jesus spoke on his own authority. Jesus acted like God in every way and yet people have wanted to deny his deity.
Jesus was sinless. The Pharisees thought he broke the Sabbath but Jesus never broke any of the commandments! Jesus healed men on the Sabbath, that is, he did good on the day of good deeds. Why not give someone a lifelong blessing on the Sabbath? Good deeds done in the name of the Father are not limited to six days but are able to be done on any day of the week. The Pharisees had built laws around God’s laws and then sought to enforce their own laws on the same level as God’s laws. Jesus broke the Pharisees’ law; he never broke God’s law. He was sinless.
Because Jesus was God and because Jesus was sinless, he was able to be our Savior. In his person, Jesus is God. In his work, Jesus is our Savior. The Pharisees sought to deny Christ both of these offices. In fact, they hated Jesus for acting like God and talking like God. They hated him for healing people and for raising the dead. They hated him for breaking their laws. They accused Christ of breaking the Sabbath and of speaking blasphemy.
Never forget that the two most important doctrines of our faith are wrapped up in the person and the work of Jesus Christ. In his person, Jesus is the eternal and sinless God. He is God, the Son, but not through a woman for he has always been. In his work Jesus remained sinless so that He could be our Lamb who, through the sacrifice of Himself on the altar of the Cross, could take away our sin. Because of who Jesus is and what He did He is both our justifier and our eternal intercessor. Hallelujah! What a Savior.
Last night our youth group had week 1 of the Cola Clash. There were over 20 teens who came and they had a GREAT time together. Ben had the teens give each other the gospel. It was an amazing night of ministry.
I attended a leaders’ prayer summit at Moody yesterday. The churches in the city are praying for God to bring an end to the violence in it. Join them in prayer for a break in this horrible cycle.
Have a great day in the Lord,