March 2, 2018
JESUS WALKED AHEAD
Jesus led the way up from Jericho to Jerusalem to face his ultimate purpose for coming–– the cross. The walk up from Jericho would take about 6-8 hours as they traveled the Roman road, the ruins of which can still be seen today. It was a steep climb, with an elevation increase of 3400 feet. Jesus walked ahead of his disciples and his other followers, pressing on alone with a look of firm resolve on His face (see Luke 9:51) and a determined step to his gait. Those following him were awestruck and even filled with fear as they tried to keep up with his dogged pace. After some time, Jesus finally took a break and explained once again to his disciples exactly what would happen to him in Jerusalem. From betrayal to torture to death on a Roman cross and rising again three days late, Jesus described in great detail why he was so determined to be in Jerusalem. He was about to complete his mission.
Today, we have this great hope in the One who has gone ahead of us, not only to Jerusalem, but to the Father in heaven on our behalf. As the book of Hebrews says, “We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, sure and strong. It enters behind the curtain in the Most Holy Place in heaven, where Jesus has gone ahead of us and for us” (Heb. 6:19-20).
March 1, 2018
DOES JESUS LOVE SINNERS?
When Jesus looked upon the rich man who expressed his desire to be a follower, He loved him. Why did Christ love him? Did the rich man understand that “only God is good?” No, it seemed that he thought he could be good too. Was he able to sell his possessions, give them to the poor, and follow Jesus? No, he went away sad, choosing his possessions over following the Person of Christ. So, what was the trait or condition in this rich man that moved Jesus to look upon him with love? It wasn’t the condition of the rich man, but the unconditional love of Jesus that moved Jesus to love him. As the apostle Paul wrote, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). Jesus loves sinners because He is all love and He loves with an unconditional love (“agape”). As the apostle John wrote, “God is love” (1 John 4:8).
I wonder. Should we love sinners too?
March 1, 2018
THE LAW AND HARD HEARTS
Some Pharisees came to Jesus with a question about divorce. He answered with His own question (as was His habit) whether they knew what Moses wrote in the law concerning divorce. They replied that the Mosaic law permitted divorce. Jesus responded that the law was a “concession” to “hard hearts.”
I wonder, wasn’t all the law written because of the hardness of our hearts? For if we could keep the Great Commandment, wouldn’t we have hearts filled with love and therefore no longer require the other laws? Would the one who loves God with all his heart, need to be told not to take the Lord’s name in vain? Would the one who loves their neighbor, need to be instructed not to murder them? If the human heart was not hardened by sin, the written law would have no purpose, for the law of love would already be written on our hearts. Yet, the law was needed because our hearts are hard until the old, sin callous is circumcised by faith in Christ, who is able to give us new and clean hearts filled with love.
March 2, 2015
Unlike worldly leaders who strive to climb the ladder of leadership, Kingdom leaders serve their way to success. Jesus calls us to be servant-leaders. Are there jobs in your family, workplace or church that are beneath you? Good. Start there and do them wholeheartedly. Faithfulness in little things leads to being entrusted with greater things.
March 1, 2015
This was Christ’s response to the question “Who then can be saved?” The truth is that we cannot save ourselves. Salvation is beyond humanity’s reach. No amount of counseling, religion, or self-effort can change the heart of man. We are drowning in our own sin and unable to reach the shore. But God has made a way for us through Christ. What seemingly impossible thing is defeating you today? Bring it to God. He specializes in accomplishing impossible things.
March 2, 2014
A blind beggar named Bartimaeus was sitting beside the road leaving Jericho as he heard that Jesus and His disciples were passing by. He yelled for Jesus’ attention, calling Him by His Messianic title, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” The crowd’s attempts to quiet Bartimaeus only made him yell louder. Finally, Jesus called to him, asking what he wanted. Surely the man’s blindness was obvious to anyone. Jesus, who even knew people’s thoughts, surely knew the man was blind. Yet, he asked what he wanted. Bartimaeus quickly replied, “I want to see!” With this answer, Bartimaeus spoke with faith, believing that Jesus could give him his sight. Jesus knows our needs even before we pray, yet He still listens for us to ask Him in faith. Bartimaeus received his sight and followed Jesus. Pray specific prayers.
March 1, 2013
This was Jesus’ response to the question “Who then can be saved?” The truth is that we cannot save ourselves. Salvation is beyond humanity’s reach. No amount of counseling, religion, self-help courses, New Year’s resolutions… can change the heart of man. We are drowning in our own sin and unable to reach the shore. But God has made a way for us through Christ. What impossible thing is defeating you today? Bring it to God. He specializes in accomplishing impossible things.
March 1, 2012
In what hope or dream from God have you given up? Does it seem impossible to you now? Pray and cast all your cares on Him. All things are possible with God. He exposes our unmet needs, so that we understand that He alone can meet them.