Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Save Thyself

Mark 15:30 Save thyself, and come down from the cross

Here, as Jesus is hanging, or crucified, from the cross of Calvary, many begin to pass by and make lots of accusations and slanderous statements. The one that really caught my eye was the one I just quoted from verse 30.

What got my attention was the fact that the rest of the world is still saying the same thing today. They don't want a Jesus that had to be crucified and die for their sins - they want a Jesus that came down from the cross, or better yet, never had to go to the cross to begin with. They are telling Jesus to do the very same thing they are trying to do for themselves: Save Thyself.

We cannot save our own selves. The Bible tells us that our righteousness, or good deeds and works, is nothing more than filthy rags. We must remember why Jesus did not come down from the cross and "save" Himself - so that we might be saved.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Answers Through Questions

Mark 2:6-7 But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts, (7) Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?

Here, in Mark 2:1-12, we have the wonderful account of four men who bring a crippled man to Jesus for healing. Jesus recognizes their faith (2:5) and forgives this palsied man of his sins. Not exactly what everyone had in mind to happen first - the scribes included. And so they begin to question this and by what authority Jesus could give forgiveness of sins. And it was only AFTER the questioning of the scribes that Jesus heals this man of his physical ailment (2:9-12).

What we need to realize today is that sometimes God allows us to go through struggles so that He may teach and try to reach others. So, it is often times that we receive the answer to our prayers when others see us and begin to ask questions of God. Take your difficult situation as an opportunity for God to show His Greatness in your life to others so that He may get the glory due His name.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Does the Past Cloud Your Today?

Matthew 17:4 - Then answered Peter, and said unto Jesus, Lord, it is good for us to be here: if thou wilt, let us make here three tabernacles; one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias.

In the beginning of chapter 17, we come to what is commonly referred to as the Mount of Transfiguration. As Jesus ascends up the mount, He takes with Him Peter, James, and John. While there, these three disciples see Christ transfigured before them. After viewing the glorified Christ, they also notice Elijah and Moses. It is at this point Peter speaks up and says that they should build three tabernacles, or tents, and continue the worship and fellowship.

Many truths can be taken away from this event, but let me give just one today: they allowed the past glory to cloud the current glory and working of Christ. The three disciples, like many of the religious rulers and teachers of their day (17:10), were looking for God to do what He did in the past, just as He did it in the past. But what they missed was that God not was working just as He did in the past, but was doing a greater work by revealing Christ to them.

Often today, we look back to the past when the Church and Christianity had a greater impact, and we want to see it today. But our error is often the same error of these three disciples: we want it done just as it was in the past. Moses and Elijah were great men of old that God used in a mighty way. But we cannot allow our vision of a great past to cloud our vision for a greater now. God is still God and He changes not in attributes - but He does change in how he deals with people.

A great Bible example of this would be Moses when he smote the rock and God gave them water. What a great victory and blessing that Moses experienced; but he allowed this past glory to cloud his vision for God's new plan to get the water to the people - by just speaking to the rock. Instead of listening to God's new plan, Moses falls back on his past experience and smites the rock to no avail. So, he does so again and because of his disobedience to God he misses out on the Promise Land.

Let's not allow the glory of the past dictate to us how we will listen and obey God today; and lets not be afraid of doing something different if it is what God has called us to do. If we are always looking back, we will never be able to look forward.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Beutiful Feet

Romans 10:15 - And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

Paul, under Holy Spirit inspiration, quotes from both Isaiah 52:7 & Nahum 1:15. While the foot is not considered beautiful by most, it is by our Lord when our feet take us away from evil (Psalm 1:1), to the House of the Lord (Ecclesiastes 5:1), and from the House of God to those who are in the highways and hedges (Luke 14:23). May we each have beautiful feet in the sight of the Lord.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Gathering or Scattering

Are you gathering or scattering?

Matthew 12:30
He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.
We live in a world today, and amidst Christians, who like to think they can mix in a little God and a little church into their lives and be considered spiritually mature. But just a little bit of God and a little bit of His Church does not make one spiritual, but religious.
Here, in this Scripture, our Lord is dealing with the Pharisee's of His day. I say 'His day' because we have many Pharisee's in our day today. They are those who are religious, but void of any spirituality because they have never been born again. The religious of our day have forgotten about what Paul said in Romans 8:14 - For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
Jesus tells these Pharisee's that if they are not gathering people to God, then they are scattering them away. I like what John Wesley said about this verse, and will leave you with that:

He that is not with me is against me - For there are no neuters in this war. Every one must be either with Christ or against him; either a loyal subject or a rebel. And there are none upon earth, who neither promote nor obstruct his kingdom. For he that does not gather souls to God, scatters them from him.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

One Thing I Know

John 9:25 He answered and said, Whether he be a sinner or no, I know not: one thing I know, that, whereas I was blind, now I see.

Let me ask you a question: Why does religion try to complicate everything so much? Here, a man who was born blind was given his sight by Jesus in a most unusual way - Jesus spit on the ground and took that clay, or mud, and used it to fix his eyes.

Now, instead of rejoicing, the Pharisees, or the religious leaders of Jesus day, came and began to question him about who Jesus was and were did he come from. And I love this man's simple response to their difficult questions: One thing I know!

There may be some things that we cannot explain, but there needs to be one thing we know - Jesus Christ! And lets not be intimidated by the "religious Pharisees" of today to proclaim the truth we know: that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief!

Friday, May 1, 2009

I was a herdman...

Amos 7:14-15 Then answered Amos, and said to Amaziah, I was no prophet, neither was I a prophet's son; but I was an herdman, and a gatherer of sycomore fruit:
15 And the LORD took me as I followed the flock, and the LORD said unto me, Go, prophesy unto my people Israel.

Here, as he did earlier in 1:1, Amos gives us his pedigree as a prophet. Unlike Amaziah, the corrupted priest of Beth-el, Amos had no "religious" training. The only thing he had was the call of God and the power of the Spirit. God is not interested today in religion, but in relationships. There is no one church that holds the keys to salvation - salvation is in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as found in the Word of God. And that is a message that can be proclaimed by any Christian, even a herdman!