Archive for October 2008

“… many other things …”

October 31, 2008

Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.
(John 21:25; NIV. Please read John 21.)

“Jesus did many other things as well.”

Like what? I would love  to know. Is that one of the blessings of heaven … that we will get to see or know those things?

ON SECOND THOUGHT: If you could see just one more thing that Jesus did …  what would you like to see Jesus do? Another miracle? Another teaching? To hear Him laugh? To watch Him with children?

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“… that you may believe …”

October 30, 2008

Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.
(John 20:30-31; NIV. Please read John 20.)

Jesus fed 5,000 men with 5 biscuits and 2 fish (a kosher Long John Silver’s happy meal) … to confirm that He was/is “the bread of life”.

Jesus healed a blind man (using mud made from his own saliva) … to confirm that He was/is “the light of the world”.

Jesus raised His friend, Lazarus, from the dead (in spite – I’m sure – of Lazarus’ objections) … to confirm that He was/is “the resurrection and the life”.

Jesus overcame death (ripping the gates off of Hell) … to confirm that He was/is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life”.

He did even more … but these were written, so that I could believe in Him and have life.

I believe. 

ON SECOND THOUGHT: If I want my friends to believe in Jesus … would it not make sense for me to share with them these stories … to show them those things that can cause them to believe? Maybe more than our lists of verses to prove our point … maybe they need to hear of the “signs” that caused people to believe in Jesus then and now.

“… pierced Jesus’ side …”

October 29, 2008

Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jews did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down. 32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 35 The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe. 36 These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,”   37 and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.”
(John 19:31-37; NIV. Please read John 18-19.)

From these words we know …

… that Jesus died. He did not feign death … or just seem dead. He died. Men, who knew “dead”, determined He was dead. (They did not break His legs.) To confirm it … they shoved a spear into His side. Blood and water poured out. (The blood was already beginning to separate.)

… that Jesus is the real “passover lamb”. His bones were not broken … and His blood allows God’s judgment to passover over us.

… that Jesus is the rejected one …  who really was and is the promised one.

ON SECOND THOUGHT: They had no idea … that the blood that poured from His body – that splattered on their sandals and feet – was the blood of the sacrifice that would forgive them of all of their sins – even this one.

“… may be one …”

October 28, 2008

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, 21 that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. 22 I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: 23 I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
(John 17:20-23; NIV. Please read John 17.)

Jesus was praying that His disciples would be united. But He was also praying for us … for the church that we are today. Our faith in Jesus is based on the message that was revealed to and by the apostles … and He wants us to share in “complete unity to let the world know that you sent me”.

If this is the heart’s desire and prayer of Jesus … should it not be our desire and prayer, as well?

ON SECOND THOUGHT: I have lived long enough now … been in “church work” long enough now … to have been a part of many different “unity” meetings. In most (if not all of them) this prayer of Jesus has been noted … but in most (if not all) it has been ignored … in that the simplest way to unity is to rely on and repsond to “their message”. Any disunity does not come from the Word … but from our own selfish ambitions or personal preferences. May God help me … and the people who fellowship me … answer this prayer for Jesus’ sake.

“… but take heart …”

October 27, 2008

“But a time is coming, and has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home. You will leave me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with me. 33 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” 
(John 16:32-33; NIV. Please read John 16.)

“In this world you will have trouble.” He got that right … for sure. And much of the trouble is my own fault!

“But take heart!” In spite of the trouble – caused by my own foolishness or the foolishness of others – I do not have to live discouraged. I can face the day – or the night – with courage and hope.

Because, “I have overcome the world.” They were going to strip … whip … mock … abuse … and kill Him, but He had overcome the world. If He could do it then … He can do it now … for me. That gives me peace.

ON SECOND THOUGHT: It is not the circumstances of my life that give me hope or peace … it is the Lord of my life. In good or bad times … I have overcome the world. Regardless of what is happening in your marriage – your job – your life … TAKE HEART … you can have peace!

“I am the vine …”

October 26, 2008

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not remain in me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. 8 This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.”
(John 15:5-8; NIV. Please read John 15.)

I want to be a disciple of Jesus.

I want to glorify the Father.

I want to bear fruit.

Simple enough … “remain” in Jesus.

I may not always know … how to “bear fruit” … or how to glorify God … but I do know how to stick with Jesus. That should take care of the rest.

ON SECOND THOUGHT: I knew a man many years ago, who approached the end of life with some fear of judgment … because he had never been directly responsible for causing someone to “obey the gospel”. I asked why he felt that way. He said, “Because I heard a preacher say that we cannot go to heaven unless we take someone with us.” I was sad for my brother … but angry with any man who would speak such words that could cause such heartache. I believe that bearing fruit involves helping others become as we are, but that involves so many things more than just being the one standing in the bapistry. “Remain” in Jesus … good things will happen.

“… be where I am …”

October 25, 2008

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. 2 In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. 3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. 4 You know the way to the place where I am going.” 
(John 14:1-4; NIV. Please read John 14.)

Jesus knew something of “troubled” hearts. His was even “troubled” – moments later in the garden. Therefore, He understands what happens – how it makes us feel.

So … when He says, “Do not let your hearts be troubled,” He is not rebuking us but rather reassuring us that there is reason not to be troubled.

His reasons?

We can trust God. God has never lied to us … or about us.

We can also trust Jesus. Jesus knows how to take care of people with troubled hearts. For example: frightened disciples in a storm … a worried father whose son is possessed by a demon … and a grieving widow on her way to bury her only son … a guilty woman caught in the act … a brother and friend who denied Him when he wanted to die for Him.

We get to be with Jesus. Who cares where or when or how? WE GET TO BE WITH HIM.

ON SECOND THOUGHT: In these words Jesus basically says, “Come home with me and stay awhile.” I accept His invitation.