March 25, 2018
OBEDIENCE TO CHRIST’S LORDSHIP
Jesus made it clear that those who call Him “Lord,” should obey what He said. Doing so, He taught, would not prevent life’s storms from coming. But it would build a strong foundation of faith that would endure any storm. However, the one who only pays lip service to Jesus as Lord, not doing what He says, will be swept away when storms come.
Obedience is proof that we have recognized Christ as Lord.
March 24, 2018
ALL-NIGHT PRAYER PRECEDED CALLING AND SENDING
Jesus went up into a mountain and prayed all night before choosing twelve of His followers to be “apostles.” The word “apostle” means “one sent.” Jesus spent the night praying to get clear instruction from His Father on whom He would send. After praying, He arose at daybreak to commission and send out His apostles to represent Him and to preach the gospel. This was a profoundly significant day in the establishment of the Church.
Jesus is still calling and sending out His followers to represent Him and preach the gospel. I wonder how many will respond as Isaiah did when hearing the Lord’s call?
“And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?’ Then I said, “Here I am! Send me” (Isaiah 6:8).
March 23, 2018
JESUS CHRIST IS OUR SABBATH REST
When Jesus’ disciples picked heads of grain while walking through a wheat field on the Sabbath, some Pharisees accused them of breaking the law. They were referring to the fourth commandment of the Decalogue which states, “Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy” (Ex. 20:8). It was a simply worded law without much detail. Yet, the Pharisees had added layer upon layer of application to it.
I have witnessed the expansion of this law myself on visits to modern Israel. I was surprised to get on an elevator in an Israeli hotel on the Sabbath and find that it stopped on every floor. The reason? Pressing the button is considered work.
The Sabbath law is clearly connected to God’s creation week and His resting on the seventh day. Certainly, that God rested was not due to fatigue. He is omnipotent and tireless. He does not “slumber nor sleep” (Psa. 121:4). God rested from creating, but not from sustaining. For He created the world through His Son and “He sustains the universe by the word of his power” (Heb. 1:2-3). So, Jesus rightly said that He is the Lord of the Sabbath.
As the Lord of the Sabbath, Jesus has authority over how it is applied. Even more significant, He is its fulfillment. For as the Israelites in the wilderness were given bread from heaven enough to sustain them on the seventh day, so Jesus, the “Bread of Heaven” (John 6:48-50), is our eternal life. Jesus invites, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28). Jesus is our Sabbath rest (Heb.4).
March 25, 2016
What does it mean to say that “Jesus is Lord?”Jesus challenged his followers by asking why their walk didn’t match their talk. It’s one thing to go around saying that “Jesus is Lord,” but it’s another thing to actually give Him control of every area of your life, obeying His commands. Is there a place in your life that you have yet to submit to Christ? On this Good Friday, when we remember that Jesus willingly gave His life for us, will we willingly surrender our lives to Him? Ask the Spirit to help you take inventory today. In what area of your life are you still retaining control? For if you have not made Christ Lord of all, then He still isn’t really your Lord at all.
March 24, 2016
This is from Jesus’ Sermon on the Plain, describing the new economy of the kingdom of heaven. Instead of reciprocal response, the believer is to respond out of a new spiritual character, as God does. God’s kingdom people are to “love, do good, bless and pray” because this is what is in them to do regardless of how others treat them. God’s people are revealing His character to the world by this. Jesus’ sermon is subversive to the world’s economy which says to respond in kind. Jesus says that we are to “love, do good, bless and pray” no matter how we are treated. The Jesus’ Way turns the world upside down.
March 24, 2014
One of Christ’s most profound actions was to appoint the Twelve. As he did before other important times, he prayed in preparation. On this particular occasion Jesus prayed all night on a mountain top. I wonder what the weather was like. Was it a clear night? Did a wet dew fall? Did a chill set in before the sunrise? Jesus had such stamina for prayer. He was so committed to getting what he needed from the Father that physical things such as cold, fatigue, hunger and thirst seemed only to focus his intensity. We don’t know what he and the Father discussed that night. But we do know that at daybreak he appointed the Twelve, even choosing the betrayer, Judas with full knowledge of what was ahead. Jesus performed many amazing miracles. Yet, on this night he accomplished an easily overlooked part of his mission: He appointed the Twelve “to be apostles.” And they proclaimed the good news of Christ’s death, burial and resurrection to the world.
March 24, 2013
This is from Jesus’ Sermon on the Plain, describing the new economy of the kingdom of heaven. Instead of reciprocal response, the believer is to respond out of a new spiritual character, as God does. God’s kingdom people are to “love, do good, bless and pray” because this is what’s in them to do regardless of how others treat them. God’s people are revealing His character to the world by this. Jesus’ sermon is subversive to the world’s economy which says to respond in kind. Jesus says that we are to “love, do good, bless and pray” no matter how we are treated. The Jesus’ Way turns the world upside down.
March 24, 2012
The word “miser” is the root for “miserable.” If you want to know true joy, be a giver. Givers don’t worry about how their needs will be met. They leave that up to God.
March 24, 2011
Have you ever stayed up all night talking to one you love? Did you complain of being sleepy? Did you reach for a sleeping pill? Or were you surprised that the sun came up so soon? I wonder what Jesus spoke of with His Father.