Tag Archives: Jesus

Judas

I was the treasurer of this little band of men

I need to find a way to fill the kitty up again.

 

I had been with Jesus for many weeks and days

I was in charge of the money that we spent in many ways.

 

I had observed Jesus action when the Pharisees attack.

He would ask a question, but the answers they would lack.

 

He said he would build a kingdom down here on this earth.

And if you know the scriptures, He was born of virgin birth.

 

The money’s running low now; we gave so much to the poor.

He is to build a kingdom but we couldn’t even buy a door!

 

The high priests wanted Jesus and I knew where he would be.

If I showed them where to go, thirty shekels they’d give me

 

With this money in the kitty we could really help the poor.

But if we’re to build a kingdom we will still need to have some more.

 

Before, when men attack him He would always get away.

So I assumed that’s what would happen on that fateful day.

 

They gave to me the money, so the plan would work that day.

But when I kissed the Savior, He didn’t get away.

 

Peter tried to protect him and cut off the servant ear.

But Jesus then rebuked him: “The scripture’s fulfilled here.”

 

What on earth has happened to my carefully, thought out plan?

Those servants just arrested Him like any common man.

 

Those servants took the master as off to court they go.

Were they really going to kill Him? I really didn’t know.

 

It was then that I realized that my plans had really failed.

They took away the Master and to a tree they nailed.

 

What can I do with this money? Can I deal with all this strife?

I will return the money and then I’ll take my life.

 

So many times we have a plan and then to prayer we go.

We ask that He will bless it, no faith in Him we show.

 

Are you like this man named Judas, as your future you will plan?

Do you trust the Savior? Or do you trust in man?

 

Is your church “pre-screening” people for heaven?

How many times have you heard in church that people who do … or if people do not do … will not go the heaven? This is not a new Phenomenon for the church. It has been happening since the beginning of the church.

In the 10th chapter of Acts, we read about how Peter (a devote Jew) has a vision about God sending a sheet filled with animals that were considered unclean food and tells Peter to kill and eat. But Peter responds that he has never let any unclean thing enter his body. God had to tell him two more times before God took the sheet of food away.

About the same time, Cornelius (a believing Gentile) has as vision about going to find Peter.

As Peter was thinking about the meaning of his vision, Cornelius comes to the house and asks for Peter. So Peter goes to the house of Cornelius.

Now we are all here in the presence of God to listen to everything the Lord has commanded you to tell us.”

Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right. You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, announcing the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all.  You know what has happened throughout the province of Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached—  how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.

“We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a cross, but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen—by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message. The circumcised believers who had come with Peter were astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out even on Gentiles. For they heard them speaking in tongues and praising God.

Then Peter said, “Surely no one can stand in the way of their being baptized with water. They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.” So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ. Then they asked Peter to stay with them for a few days. Acts 10:33-48(NIV)

Did this end the debate between the Christian Gentiles and the Jews? No. Later, the Jews were telling the Christian Gentiles that they needed to be circumcised to become a believer because this is what was required in the covenant God made with the children of Israel.

The church today has problems trying to pre-screen Christians. It may not be circumcision or eating certain foods, but we have several others: Type of worship, translation of the Bible, baptism, place of worship, instruments used in worship, pastor’s salary, church membership, etc.

We need to give the same message that Peter gave in Acts 10. Peter told them that God was not show favoritism. He also told them what God had done for him. He told them about the Holy Spirit that was given to the believers and that Jesus died on the cross for everyone. God loves everyone. Christ died to redeem people from their sins, not to condemn them.

Rather than separating ourselves from the nonbeliever, we need to witnesses to them about what God had done in our lives. We are to be filled with the Holy Spirit so we will speak only what the Holy Spirit tells us to speak.

God did not plan for the church to ‘pre-screen’ people for heaven. God wants us to tell unbelievers about the love of God and what He did for them on the cross. The assignment to the church is to make disciples, not judges and critics.

NOTE: All scripture used in this blog was downloaded from www.biblegateway.com

How to you remember other people?

In a lifetime, an individual will meet hundreds of people. Some of them you see for only a moment and others you see for longer periods of time. When people get older, they look back at their life and think about the people they have encountered. Someone will mention a name and they will say something like “I remember that person; he was the one who …”

What will you put in the blank? When people have hurt you, you will probably remember them for the hurt that they caused. You may think of every negative thing that you can think about that person.

On the other hand, when a person has helped you achieve something, you will remember that person by the good they did to you. You will think about all the positive things that the person did.

How do you want people to remember you? Do you want them to remember you as a judgmental person who criticized everything and everyone you come in contact with, or do you want them to remember you as forgiving individual, who was always trying to help someone?

Remember Peter, the apostle of Jesus Christ? Do you remember him as the person who betrayed Jesus? Or perhaps you remember him as the person who Jesus called Satan? Or perhaps you remember him as the disciple who sank into the water because he took his eyes of Jesus? We may criticize Peter for taking his eyes off Jesus and sinking into the water or we can praise him for having the courage to go to Jesus even when it was humanly impossible.

Even though Peter made several mistakes in his life, He learned from his mistakes. He later wrote two Epistles that are recorded in our Bible today: 1 Peter and 2 Peter. Because Peter seemed to make a lot of mistakes, he has some excellent advice for Christians. In 1 Peter 2:11-12 Peter wrote these words:

Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.  Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us. 1 Peter 2:11-12(NIV)

Peter is telling us that everything we do should glorify God. Even when people falsely accuse us, we should continue to live Godly lives rather than seeking vengeance because of their false accusations.

Often the reason we remember the negative things that people have done to us, is because we have never forgiven them for the wrong they did to us. We tend to hang onto all the wrongs that have been done to us, rather than forgive them.

The Apostle Luke, in chapter 6 record Jesus telling this to the followers of Jesus:

“Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:37-38(NIV)

Jesus is telling his followers, not to judge or condemn people but rather forgive them.

Forgiveness is one of the most difficult things for people to do. Forgiveness requires the action of the Holy Spirit in our lives. God is the only one that can forgive, but he will not force us to forgive. We must surrender it to God and let him seek vengeance.

Paul in his letter to the Colossians says:

 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.  And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Colossians 3:12-14(NIV)

When we forgive someone as Christ did, we will remember the offence no more. We surrender our right to ever bring up this offense again. Regardless of the severity of the offence against us, we are still instructed to forgive.

How are people going to remember you? Are you going to remind them of Christ and His forgiveness or are we going to remind them of a judge who never forgive?

NOTE: All scripture in the blog were downloaded from: www.biblegateway.com

What do you enjoy about Christmas?

For children, Christmas is frequently a time when they enjoy receiving gifts. The gifts are frequently toys or games that they have been wanting. The gifts come from parents, grandparents, teachers, leaders of the various activities in which they are involved.

As we get older, we enjoy the gifts from a special someone. They could be our best friends, the person we are dating at the time, or some other person that has a special meaning to our life.

As adults, we enjoy the gifts from our children or family members. We especially enjoy the company of our families and friends. We enjoy eating together, watching sport events of Christmas programs where our children, grandchildren, or great-grandchildren are participating.

As we grow older, the things that we enjoy about Christmas seem to move from material things to relationships that we develop over the years.

God wants us to enjoy a relationship with Him.

In the Old Testament when man sinned, there was a price to pay for those sins. The price was the shedding of blood of an innocent animal. People were required to go to the high priest to make these sacrifices.

The animals that were sacrificed were animals that did not have any blemishes. In other words, they needed to be “perfect” animals or in some cases doves. In most cases, they were sheep or lambs. The sacrifices were made to please God. People were required to obey the commandments and laws that God gave them. There salvation was based on what they did or did not do.

Making a sacrifice was something they were supposed to do when they had sinned against God or the fellow man. However, one day that changed. God loved us so much that he wanted us to be his children. He wanted to have a relationship with his children. He wanted the love of his children. He was going to send a sacrifice that would be for everybody. He was not going to force this relationship on people but rather have them love him willfully.

God had a plan. He was going to send his son Jesus down to earth to show His love for us. Jesus would be born as a baby and experience life on earth. He was going to show people how to love. Jesus taught us about his father and what the Father’s will was for his children. Jesus taught us who God is.

Jesus lived a perfect life while on earth. He did not live to have a high self-esteem; he did not live to please other people; he did not live to condemn the world. Jesus lived to do the will of his Father. Everything Jesus did was the will of his Father and not his own will.

After a short life on this earth, Jesus laid down his life for our sins. He became the perfect sacrifice. However, unlike the sacrifices made in the Old Testament, Jesus was raised to life again. JESUS WAS VICTORIOUS OVER DEATH!

Because Jesus was victorious over death, we who believe in him will be victorious over death also. We will be able to live eternally with our Father in Heaven! In eternity, we will no longer experience sickness, disappointment, separation, etc. We will have an eternal relationship with God the Father. We will be coheirs with Jesus. Everything that the Father has will be at our disposal. What a wonderful gift God gave us that first Christmas morning!

There is only one way to receive the gift of eternal life with God the Father. In John 14:6, Jesus said that He was the “way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

You cannot receive the gift of eternal life just by knowing who God is, by belonging to a certain church or religious cult, by living a good life; you can only receive eternal life through Jesus Christ.

God does not want us to be selfish and keep this gift for ourselves; rather He wants us to share this unending gift with everyone we meet. God wants our lives to be a demonstration of who He is and not who we are.

This Christmas remember and enjoy the real reason Jesus came that Christmas night. Because Jesus came on Christmas and became the perfect sacrifice for our sin, we can live in peace even when the world seems to be falling apart and people fear what the future holds.

Jesus gave his followers these promises:

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in me. My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? 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. You know the way to the place where I am going.” John 14:1-4(NIV)

Later in that same chapter, Jesus said:

26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. 27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. John 14:26-27(NIV)

Over 65 Years ago, I accepted the gift of salvation made possible because Jesus was born, lived, and paid the price for my sin. Over those years, I have experienced disappointments, losses, persecution, loneliness, financial loss, times of physical difficulty, yes, and even times of war. However, through these times, I have felt the peace of God that he gives to those who believe in Him.

This Christmas season accepts God’s gift of salvation. Experience the peace that only God can give.

Merry Christmas

NOTE: all scripture in this blog were downloaded from www.Biblegateway.com December 13, 2015

What Does Eternity Hold for You?

One of my favorite Easter songs is “They Could Not”. This song was written and sung by Sandi Patty in 1982. This song summarizes Jesus ministry on this earth. People just did not understand who Jesus was or what he was up to.

Since they could not understand Jesus, they decided to kill him. They tortured him hoping they could find out who he was. Even though God allowed Jesus to suffer, He did not allow the people to interfere with God’s plan for salvation. They could not keep Jesus in the grave.

In the last stanza of “They Could Not”, Sandy Patty says:

They could not, They could not….Praise God, they could not ….And when at last they took from Him what willingly He gave…. Could they keep Him in the grave, could they keep Him in the grave, ….Could they keep Him in the grave, They could not!

Jesus was raised to life! They could not stop him!

God allowed Jesus to be tortured by the people, just as God allowed Job to be physically tortured by Satan. As I thought about this truth, I was reminded of Romans 12:19(NIV) where it records the words of the Lord: Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

God gets the final word. He is the one who is ultimately in charge. He is the one who will take revenge.  In Revelation 20 the writer is telling about the judgment of Satan after he had been in prison for a thousand years.

When the thousand years are over, Satan will be released from his prison and will go out to deceive the nations in the four corners of the earth—Gog and Magog—and to gather them for battle. In number they are like the sand on the seashore. They marched across the breadth of the earth and surrounded the camp of God’s people, the city he loves. But fire came down from heaven and devoured them. 10 And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever. Revelation 20:7-10(NIV)

Talk about revenge! Jesus was tormented for a short period but Satan and his followers will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

When we come to the end of our physical life, our spirit continues to exist. We have two options. We will live (have fellowship with the Lord) forever, or we will die (have no fellowship with the Lord and be tormented) forever! Just as Christians live forever with God, the false teachers and followers of Satan will be tormented forever.

The people could not prevent Jesus from being raised from the dead, and they will not be able to stop the tormenting!

We have a choice. We can accept Jesus for who he is and follow His leading, or we can continue being deceived by Satan and follow his leading. These are your options. What option are you going to choose? The choice is yours. However, the choice you make must be made before you die. Once your body dies, it is too late to change your mind.

The default choice is eternal torment.

This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. Romans 3:22-24(NIV)

The only way we can have eternal life is by accepting the redemption that Jesus has to offer. By faith in Jesus Christ you can accept redemption that leads to eternal life.

What will your choice be?

 

NOTE:  All scripture quoted in this blog was downloaded from: www.biblegateway.com