October 16 – Forewarned To Be Prepared

“Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.” – John 15:20-21 (ESV)

Yesterday, we read how Peter urged faith believers to anticipate suffering. It wasn’t for acting wrongly with justice being a rightful consequence. No, it was suffering that would come simply because of their commitment to Jesus Christ.. In our passage today Jesus explains why His followers should expect the same kind of treatment from the world that the world gives to Him. The fact that Jesus was persecuted to the point of death for rightly claiming to be one with God is the reason we should not be alarmed when the world attacks our proclamation that Jesus is the Son of God. Many, in what we still identify as “evangelical” institutions and denominations have in their leadership those that deny the deity of Jesus Christ as well as his virgin birth and resurrection. Now those who continue to believe in the Christ are finding opposition to their faith. Jesus said it would happen; it’s coming from those that “know not who sent Jesus.” We should expect to be treated like He was treated because those who deny who His is don’t know God; conversely those who listen with faith to Him, hear Him and know He is God.


June 8 – A Different “Stand Your Ground”

“Are they Hebrews? So am I. Are they Israelites? So am I. Are they descendants of Abraham? So am I. Are they servants of Christ?—I speak as if insane—I more so; 2 Corinthians 11:16 (NASB)

From time to time we may be recipients of hostile attacks on our faith in Jesus Christ. While we wish to not reply in kind manner, we can be ready to defend the truth of our salvation by grace through faith. The Apostle Paul wrote this letter to the church in Corinth to correct several errors in their behavior and thinking. One is laid out in the 11th chapter of 2 Corinthians. Paul’s apostolic authority was challenged and he is pressed into this defense. The apostle knew that his claim to be an apostle was incontrovertible. Today many people who have no right to the title yet still claim to belong to the God’s family. If we are confident to declare, “I am a follower of Christ Jesus,” let’s only say it after we’ve searched our hearts as in the presence of God. Charles Spurgeon would advise; “May it be that we can give proof that we are following Jesus, if we can say from the heart, “I trust Him wholly, trust Him only, trust Him simply, trust Him now, and trust Him ever,” then the position that the saints of God hold also belongs to us.”


June 17 – From Our Inner Being

And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.” Luke 1:46-48a (ESV)

These words are from a song of praise that Mary, the mother of Jesus sang when she visited her cousin Elizabeth before Jesus was born. This song reminds us what true praise is and so we read these words today and think about them. We sometimes think that in order to praise God, we need to say something with our lips. God knows our heart and our thoughts before we even do. We can praise God silently, or orally, or as Mary did when she sang this song with her lips; she sang that it was her soul that was glorifying and praising God. Before she put her thoughts into words she was praising God with her inner being. God has promised to hear us no matter how we communicate if we are sincere and righteous before him. We can glorify God wherever we are. We do not have to be in a particular place with particular people singing out loud particular words. We can all do the same as Mary did. If we praise God in our hearts our Lord is aware of it and He will respond. Let’s praise God with our whole being today.


April 12 – All He Did

“Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. As many were astonished at you—his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—” – Isaiah 52:13-14 (ESV)

This is a good passage for post Easter consideration so that we do not let the importance of what Christ was willing to do and did for us be forgotten. His resurrection is so important because his death is so very important to our lives. Today, if you have a moment, take it and read Isaiah 52:13-53:12. The Isaiah 53 is well known for its prophecy of the torture, suffering, and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. However the section begins in Isaiah 52:13. These are some of the words describing what Jesus went through in order to pay the price of our sin. In Isaiah 53 there are 29 words or combination of words which describe the suffering Christ did. Words like: despised, rejected, esteemed not, grief, sorrow, smitten, pierced, crushed, wounds, oppressed, and slaughter. After all this torture at the hands of the Romans and others, Jesus was so marred he was unrecognizable. The last verse in the chapter is our promise too, “yet he bore the sin of many, and makes intercession for the transgressors. After all he did, he became our intercessor before God the Father. That is a promise that fills our heart with joy.