January 15, 2019
WHO GETS YOUR PRIORITY LOVE? This statement from Jesus to His disciples is very disconcerting, until you understand it’s significance. Jesus is claiming the priority love that belongs to God alone. He is not saying you cannot love your family and be His follower too. No, far from it. He is saying that we must
January 14, 2017
It was Jesus who sent out the disciples. The Greek for “I send” is emphatic. It is Christ Himself who is sending them out. It is by His authority and command. In this sending, Jesus used the attributes of four animals to describe the way He was sending them:
1) “As sheep” – Meek and without apparent physical defense.
2) “Amidst wolves” – Wolves harm sheep. They represent those who will persecute and kill the disciples.
3) “As serpents” – Serpents were seen to move with wisdom and subtlety. Move like serpents, but strike as…
4) “As doves” – “Harmless.” Be wise like serpents, but don’t strike as they do. Be harmless as doves.
Jesus is still sending out His disciples with the same authority and in the same manner.
January 14, 2016
The spreading of the gospel is the high calling for all Christians. If we are persecuted in one town, so that the gospel opportunity is limited or closed, then go to the next town. The corollary would be that if a place is welcoming to the gospel, then stay there. How do we know the timing of when to go and when to stay? The answer is that we are to be led by the Spirit. Sometimes He calls us to stay and suffer, so that hard soil is broken up and a resistant place is softened by our suffering for Christ. Yet, other times He calls us to escape persecution, so that He can have us carry the gospel to a place already prepared to hear it. That the “Son of Man comes” before all the towns of Israel have been visited has a much debated meaning. Some say Christ was referring to His plan to rejoin them after sending out His disciples. Others believe He was speaking of His resurrection, when His true nature would be revealed. Still others believe He was speaking of the fact that many Jewish towns would be resistant to the gospel until the end times before Christ’s second coming. For myself, I believe it was the latter meaning. And that we are to be busy spreading the gospel to every town on planet earth until His soon return.
January 15, 2015
This statement from Jesus to His disciples is very disconcerting, until you understand it’s significance. Jesus is claiming the priority love that belongs to God alone. He is not saying you cannot love your family and be His follower too. No, far from it. He is saying that we must love Him above all others, even our very families. Since Jesus is God, He appropriately claims our first devotion. Yet, choosing to love Christ first, above all others, we are actually filled with the love of God which causes us to truly love not only our families, but our neighbors and even our enemies. The thing that grieved Christ about the church of Ephesus was not that they had fallen into sin, or that they had become heretics. No, He commended them for their faithfulness in these areas. What grieved Christ is that they had “forsaken” their “first love” for Him (Rev. 2:4). Following Christ is a commitment of the heart as well as the head. We are called to a love relationship with the One who redeemed us.
January 14, 2015
When Jesus sent His disciples out as witnesses, He gave them detailed instructions. He even prepared them for times when they would be persecuted or questioned concerning their faith. He instructed them not to “worry” about defending their faith because God’s Spirit would give them the words to say in the “hour” it was needed. This promise that the Spirit will give us the words to say assumes that we will go out as witnesses. If we do not go out, then the Spirit’s help is hardly needed. We will miss out on this wonderful supply of grace. But if we obey Jesus and go out as witnesses, then this provision of spiritual wisdom will be experienced. So, stop saying, “I’m afraid to share my faith because I don’t know how or because I’m afraid they’ll ask something I don’t know the answer to.” Instead, go out in obedience and let the Spirit speak in and through you.
January 15, 2014
Following Christ is an all or nothing commitment. Surrender control. Open up your clinched fists. Give Christ your entire life. And then, discover the abundant life that Christ promises.
January 15, 2013
When trials and difficulty come don’t doubt God’s presence and care. Didn’t He allow His own Son to suffer in order to fulfill His purpose? And what is God’s purpose for us…? He is making us like Jesus. So don’t fear. God knows what you’re going through. Call on Him for strength and trust Him with your future for He cares for you.
January 15, 2012
Surely Peter recalled these words from Jesus after denying Him three times. Yet Jesus didn’t leave Peter in this broken condition. He restored Peter saying, “Do you love me?” Isn’t that what this is about? If you really love Jesus, then you’ll stand up and tell others.
January 14, 2012
What Jesus told His disciples about fear of witnessing. Our part is to go and to share. It is the Holy Spirit that abides within us who will speak through us, if we are obedient to go. No fear.